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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

she of the brown dusty attic-smelling wings

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet




"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

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August 11th, 2017

This thing, which is technically a response to the SWG's "Just an Old-Fashioned Love Song" challenge (using the Smashing Pumpkins' song "Thirty-Three" that was in fact an Important Song to the nascent love story of Dawn and Bobby Felagund), got out of control because it was also inspired in myriad ways by the Mereth Aderthad, most obviously [personal profile] grundyscribbling's idea of the Feanorian Family Vacation and [personal profile] hrymfaxe's request for fail!sex. It ended up *gulp* 15,000 words, which probably means that just my hardcore readers will bother with it, but at least it was fun (if long!) to write. Here is the Official SummaryTM from the SWG archive:

Against Maedhros's wishes, Fingon is off to a summer retreat in the mountains, a retreat designed by the Valar for newly reembodied Elves. Amid games of kickball and group therapy, Fingon makes a friend, discovers the Noldor haven't actually invented everything, and begins to grasp the complexities of his post-reembodiment relationship with Maedhros. Maedhros/Fingon, set in my Republic of Tirion verse.


I am just posting it to the SWG for now: Swans. I will likely cross-post it later this weekend; preparing a 15K-word story for posting is tedious and I'm ready to be done with it for tonight!

I also finally created a series for these Fifth-Age stories I've been writing lately--Republic of Tirion--so they're all in one place and in order.



This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

http://dawn-felagund.dreamwidth.org/422992.html

June 1st, 2017

Yesterday, Bobby and I celebrated twenty-one years together. We celebrate the anniversary of when we started dating, not when we married. We were young nerds in love, at the end of our 9th-grade year. I was 14, and he'd recently turned 15. We had been friends for the entire year at our magnet school for math, science, and computer science. (Neither of us went to our home high schools, so we often marvel at how precarious our even meeting was: We both applied, were accepted, and decided to go; we ended up in the same homeroom with identical schedules except that he took PE when I was in band.)

He was the social superior: very liked by everyone and popular in our isolated nerdy class. ("Magnet kids," as we were known, mostly took classes together, since we also tended to be in "gifted and talented" classes in our other academics as well.) I was middling, the kind of girl who doesn't really get noticed but starting to forge my own identity and express myself more freely. Going to a magnet school was a big deal for me in that I wasn't stuck forever with peers who had known me mostly as an awkward nerd who was despised by most other kids and had a slew of humiliating baggage associated with her. It gave me a chance to start over again.

Anyway, in May of 1996, I realized that I had a crush on Bobby--actually, my best friend pointed it out to me, in a note she wrote to me on her graphing calculator, of course, because we were blithely naive of how stereotypical we "magnet kids" could be--but even though we were friends, he was a social class above me, and I didn't think there was any hope of reciprocation. In retrospect, it says something about my self-esteem at the time that I assumed that this person who was my friend, who was never anything but kind to me, would never entertain the possibility of dating me.

So, long story short, said best friend and one of Bobby's friends who found out about my crush orchestrated the two of us dancing together at the last dance of the school year. And we haven't looked back since.

We never actually asked each other out, but one never asked the other to get married either. We just fell into stride with each other, and that's where we've stayed. (On this theme, we've never had "a song"--the thing to have when we were first together--but we do have a poem.) I sometimes tell him that being with him is the same as being alone ... and for an introvert, of course, that is a high compliment.

We're long past the point where I'm supposed to wonder and want other people, right? I truly don't. I told him the other day that if he ever finds someone he prefers to me (he insists he won't), then I'll just live alone, with maybe some animals and a lot of houseplants.

"And a lot of spiders," he added.

Indeed, he knows me. (He asked me to remove a largish jumping spider from the ceiling the other day that I would have totally just kept around and loved like people love cats. I much prefer spiders to cats!)

So yesterday I buzzed out of work pretty early for me and popped into my email just long enough to make sure that the SWG hadn't crashed into the Sun or anything dramatic like that, and then took the evening off from everything. We went to Parker Pie for dinner and shared hot Buffalo wings and a pizza with hot Italian sausage, roasted red peppers, and ricotta cheese. I had a Citizen, and he had two Hill Farmstead beers, so I drove him home (the lush ... I always drive him home! my beer allergy works out really well for him!). We took the Goldens for a walk down River Road--Guinevere is in training as a therapy dog and has homework five nights a week, so Bobby spent half of the walk working with her while Lancelot and I were the distraction--under a watercolor evening sky that was doubled in the river. We returned right as the sun set to sit out on the deck and read until it got too chilly for me to bear. (It is still unseasonably cool.) Then we warmed up in the hillbilly hot tub, saw the first fireflies of the season, and I saw seven satellites (as well as Jupiter being insanely bright right now).

It was a great evening. It's been a great twenty-one years.



This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

http://dawn-felagund.dreamwidth.org/418401.html

May 29th, 2017

Since I kicked the hornet's nest on that one, I think it's only fair to update with what I've learned/done since.

  • There is still no information on what has triggered the deletions. A commenter on the original post by yiudirnt suggests that people who have had their journals/communities deleted have asked for more information and received none, which isn't terribly surprising, since new!LJ doesn't seem particularly able to handle its English-speaking userbase.

    However, there is also no evidence that any outside links will get you deleted. Frankly, that'd be most of us. I feel badly because my post yesterday about this gave some people that impression. Generally, spam algorithms go beyond "OMG link!!" and take into account things like the number of links, destination of the link (is it a site where spam is likely?), the IP address (is it from a country that produces a lot of spam? is the IP blacklisted?), and other keywords in the post (are there words like fake, cheap, drug, rolex, nfl, or anything porny that tend to make frequent appearances in spam?). But I say that even as I admit that LJ doesn't seem to be particularly sophisticated in, like, anything lately, so I might be using my brain too hard on this one.


  • Case in point: [personal profile] hhimring has posted that she had a cross-post from Dreamwidth rejected by LiveJournal because it contained a link to an outside site and was therefore "spam." The link went to either the SWG or Faerie. (AO3 links were not a problem. *eyeroll*) Anyway, this is not exactly the same thing as deleting an entire journal/community, and it's possible that different algorithms are being used here, but it does suggest a low level of sophistication that honestly makes my brain hurt, like OMG!link = spam.


  • Likewise, per comments in the original post, journals with links behind friends-lock were just as subject to being deleted as a spambot as those where the links were in public entries. Which makes zero sense since the whole point of spambots is to litter the Internet with links like Canada goose droppings on a golf course. Again, this suggests that LJ ain't really thunk things through.


  • Per comments in the original post, some people who were deleted contacted support and got their journals back. Others did not.


  • I asked yiudirnt if they minded sharing the evidence they'd gathered, but it seems to be a list of journals/communities only (whereas I was really hoping to find out what links, link volume, etc. were in the deleted journals), and they are in a fandom where privacy is a serious and legitimate concern. So unfortunately no new information came from that inquiry.


  • I was chatting with [personal profile] makamu about preserving fan history through all this. I emailed the OTW just a little while ago to see if 1) all of this is one their radar and 2) if Open Doors (or someone else in their organization) would consider getting involved in preserving fandom history. When I hear back from OTW, I'll update here with whatever I learn. It's touchy because, of course, these are journals; the personal and the fannish are often intertwined in a way that they aren't in other fandom spaces, content wasn't necessarily created with a broad audience in mind (even if publicly available), and much content is locked. The best solution I've come up with is to maintain a list on a shared Google Doc and just contact people and ask them to migrate their content to Dreamwidth or set their accounts so a volunteer can do so.

    ETA: I heard back from OTW's Open Doors. Essentially, they can import communities with consent of the moderators. This isn't much different from importing to DW, however. It does present another option but doesn't solve the bigger problem of "rescuing" content that has been abandoned on LJ and may be deleted. So that leaves me thinking that the next item on my list remains the best option. I'm open to other ideas.

    (Wait, didn't I say I wasn't getting involved in this?! Nrgh.)


  • I'll be contacting almost seventy of them as part of letting them know about the silwritersguild export to [community profile] silwritersguild and will include that information. (Which, if you know about and haven't told me that you know about it ... please do. Because I will be contacting everyone who's not a mod and hasn't acknowledged the export! Seventy. Sheesh! Please help me out; it literally takes ten seconds! Thanks a million to those of you who already have!)




This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

http://dawn-felagund.dreamwidth.org/417853.html

May 28th, 2017

It Has Begun ...

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morgoth
... LiveJournal has begun suspending journals.

Currently, the suspensions are under the pretense of catching journals/communities set up by spambots, but this post reports legitimate journals/comms being summarily deleted with little recourse by the owner. The triggering factor seems to be that the post contains links to sites outside LJ.

This is worrisome because it's troubling that years' worth of posts are being deleted based on a script without apparent review by a human. It's also troubling because it signals that the administration, under the new ToS, is indeed willing to utilize item 2.5 in the non-legally-binding-English-kinda-sorta-ToS: "Users breach hereunder may cause termination of his/her access to his/her Account or deletion of such an Account as well as full or partial deletion of the Content or suspension thereto without prior notice" (emphasis mine).

At the risk of succumbing to a slippery slope here, my main worry concerns item 6.1.1: "The Administration reserves the right to delete Account and Blog if User did not access the Account or the access was restricted for more than six months due to a breach hereof." There is a lot of fandom history on LJ on journals owned by people no longer active in the fandom, and possibly no longer even reachable. Now spambots are obviously less desirable on a site than old journals that haven't been updated since the Second Age, but content = server space = money, and an unused journal isn't holding its weight in terms of ad views either. It's digital dead weight.

I don't know what should be done, or even if I want to do it. The HASA Rescue Project was a months-long drain on my life that I'm not eager to undertake again anytime soon or ever. I set aside projects (like the B2MeM ebook!) that I've never been able to pick up again. Perhaps when I reach out to people who posted to silwritersguild about the migration of content to Dreamwidth, I ought to include a note about migrating one's journal and communities to DW. I'm happy to help people do this, but I can't even fathom how to save content from LiveJournal other than accepting that it's every person for themselves this time.

(Thanks to acciochocolate for the tip on this!)



This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

http://dawn-felagund.dreamwidth.org/417633.html

May 20th, 2017

I'm officially behind in the ramble thing! BUT all of the SWG stamp stuff is up-to-date, so I should have a little more freedom this weekend to catch up.

[personal profile] independence1776 asked what are my least and most favorite things about living in Vermont. I was not allowed to count distance from family and friends as my least favorite thing. (She knows me and wasn't letting me off that easily! :)

I've been living in Vermont for eleven months now, and the Green Mountain State and I are very much still in the honeymoon phase. Most of the things I miss living here are pretty petty. Tops would have been that there is nowhere to get Indian food short of going to Burlington ... but then one of my colleagues connected with a local caterer who does Pakistani cuisine--very similar to northern Indian cuisine--and we had our first lunch day at work yesterday, and I had a most delicious cauliflower in butter sauce. We're hoping the caterer will have been as happy with business from our school as we were with her food and will be willing to deliver to us on Fridays going forward.

So I can hopefully no longer complain about the lack of Indian food.

We don't have--or at least we haven't found--what I consider a truly good Mexican restaurant in the area. Not on par with some of the places we had in Maryland. America's Taco Shop is good for lunch, and Aguilera's in St. J's is decent, but I miss Cinco de Mayo and El Rodeo from Maryland.

(However, we have the best Thai food I've ever had right in Newport, and good sushi as well.)

Also, very few people know how to make good iced tea up here. Most places--if they even have it--get it from a soda machine. Blech. Very few places brew it fresh, and fresh-brewed iced tea is my absolute favorite drink, and I do miss that being an assumed beverage at any restaurant. We went to dinner at Cajun's on Wednesday, and they did have fresh-brewed iced tea, and ohmymy was it a treat.

(However, Vermont has amazing hard cider. I'm not sure that drinking hard cider instead of tea is a step in the right direction, but it is something that Maryland doesn't have the same quality of.)

Most of the things that people complain about here don't really bother me. When we first moved up here, people warned us, "There's no place to go shopping!" Since I don't like shopping, I don't care. People complain about the snow--there is still snow visible of Jay Peak!--but having lived all but this year in a place that was cold with little snow, I'd rather have the deeper cold and snow: just-above-freezing and damp weather is far worse, in my opinion! It's more miserably, and all winter is the stick season that Vermonter's lament between the melting of the snow and the sudden burst of spring. Then we were warned about mud season, but the Coventry road guy is exemplary, and we're not clean-car people anyway, so we don't mind that our car is brown either from mud or dust for most of the year. (It's cleanest in the winter because of the snow!)

Now the easier list: the things I love about living here! Things I Love about VermontCollapse )



This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

http://dawn-felagund.dreamwidth.org/416746.html

May 15th, 2017

Ohmyword. I am so far behind in this ramble thing. This has been the weekend of challenges ... meaning fandom challenges! (Also it's spring, which means more outside chores than usual.) The SWG's Woman's Sceptre challenge was due at the end of last week, the new Hero's Journey challenge went up today, and MPTT's "Back Garden of a Dream" challenge was revealed today. So I have a lot of balls in the air at the moment, and I kinda forgot about the rambling m-thing I'm doing this month.

Anyway. Thankfully no one likes hearing me talk enough to have requested a topic for each day, else I'd be screwed! As it is, I'm two days behind, both from [personal profile] dreamflower, so I'll tackle one today and one tomorrow. [personal profile] dreamflower asked:

Do you think Finrod Felagund ever got to meet Bilbo and Frodo?


In short, yes, assuming that he was reembodied by the time they arrived in Tol Eressëa. (I think he would have been. After all, if the Glorfindels are the same, then Glorfindel was reembodied by the end of the Third Age, and for all his awesomeness, I don't think Glorfindel eclipses Finrod.)

I really don't see how Finrod could have resisted. Throughout The Silmarillion, we see him interacting joyfully with people from other cultures. He worked with the Dwarves to build Nargothrond, managing not to get into any battles over jewelry/murdered in the process. They even gave him a name, Felak-gundu, which was Sindarinized into Felagund. (I bet they gave Thingol a name too, but it was probably of the four-letter variety.) The Dwarves are notoriously stingy with sharing their language ("Of the Sindar"), so I've often taken their giving him a Dwarvish name as a mark of honor and respect.

Likewise, he was the first to welcome the Edain to Beleriand. None of this is particularly surprising: His family is quite cosmopolitan, and Finrod had Telerin, Noldorin, and Vanyarin blood. Even within those groups, he moves with ease, befriending Maedhros and Maglor even as he is Turgon's BFF, a guest of Thingol, and the eventual companion of Beren. Only Finrod could manage those treacherous relationships with ease. He seems more comfortable than many of his kinsmen in crossing the ethnic lines that the people of Arda draw around themselves and seems to enjoy doing so.

I don't see how he could resist the Hobbits, given that tendency. I imagine that when word came to him of the arrival of a new people, a people he'd never met, who drew back from the brink of destruction the world he'd once loved and suffered exile to inhabit, then he would have been on the first ship to Tol Eressëa to meet them. And pompous-ass-Finrod of the Athrabeth aside, I prefer to imagine that meeting as him listening hungrily to Bilbo's stories (though I imagine Bilbo would have picked his brain a bit for old lore) and showing the same tender care and grace to Frodo as his sister Galadriel did when the Fellowship passed through Lothlórien.



This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

http://dawn-felagund.dreamwidth.org/416065.html

May 14th, 2017

Things with Stings

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give bees a chance
Bees and Wasps--Phobics Beware! Non-Phobics, Come Enjoy Some Schadenfreude!Collapse )



This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

http://dawn-felagund.dreamwidth.org/415747.html

May 10th, 2017

So in the ramble meme, [profile] engarian asked for:

I'm curious about what you (and Bobby) see as your goals for the next few years of your life, looking ahead from the perspective of your youth. Do you (and Bobby) think you'll stand firm on those goals for yourself(ves) or do you see yourself(ves) being more malleable and able to move as circumstances arise?


This afternoon, I interviewed Bobby in the kitchen, who originally thought I was pretty weird when I asked him where he saw himself in five years and made him talk into a pretend microphone. But he caught on pretty quickly!

If I synthesize what he said and what I've been thinking about (knowing this post was coming up) ... Read more...Collapse )



This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

http://dawn-felagund.dreamwidth.org/415736.html

May 9th, 2017

On Druidry

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yavanna earth
[personal profile] shirebound asked me one of my favorite questions for the ramble meme:

What's it like being an initiated Druid in the 21st century? Is it a blend of ancient/modern beliefs?


I will start by saying that "druid" is about as accurate as "Christian" as far as pinning down precise beliefs and practices. There are many flavors of druidry, and what the term means for me won't mean the same to all people who identify as "druid." Bobby and I are initiated into the Ancient Order of Druids in America. Its then-leader John Michael Greer was giving a talk at the Spoutwood Farm Fairy Festival that we attended annually. Of course, his organizational affiliation caught our eye, and when we looked into it, we discovered that the group's purpose aligned quite well with our beliefs and goals.

Read more...Collapse )



This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

http://dawn-felagund.dreamwidth.org/415347.html

Mereth Aderthad

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mereth-aderthad1
The Mereth Aderthad is indeed happening! The general chaos of my life lately made it so that the website was severely delayed: mostly built but needing just enough essentials to make it impossible to finish in the time I had for it. But ... it's done! Finally!

http://mereth-aderthad.com/

Absolutely anyone can register for a membership. There's also an email newsletter to sign up for to get updates. There's also an LJ comm: mereth_aderthad. More social media will follow, but these are the ways to get updates for now.

If you're attending, there's an additional RSVP form I'm asking people to fill out. One, because it will help us to know how many people will actually be here! :) Also because there are sections of the site for doing things like planning carpools that don't need to be open to all and sundry, and sending in an RSVP gets you access to those.

In case you're not sure what the heck I'm talking about: Mereth Aderthad is a gathering of Tolkien fans in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom. It's going to be part fan convention, part holiday. We'll have a kickoff event that first Saturday (more information on this is forthcoming). The week after will be more informal and we're really open to doing whatever our attendees want to do. (Hike mountains? Sit around a bonfire and drink VT beer? Hang out on the beach and watch the lake?) All Tolkien fans are welcome. My only stipulation is that they should be open-minded about fanworks.



This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

http://dawn-felagund.dreamwidth.org/415030.html
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