lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Because I couldn't find this when I wanted it, I am now posting it here (and bookmarking it everywhere I thought it ought to be).

Oblique strategies was originally a set of cards created by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt used to break deadlocks in creative situations, and is now a website. Each "card" contains a (sometimes cryptic) remark, the pondering of which may help you resolve a creative dilemma.

Go read this

Monday, July 21st, 2014 11:58 am
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Found via Bujold's blog, this lovely little story by Ursula Vernon.

How did she take something so ridiculous and make it heartbreaking?
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
Was link-surfing today and came across this: The Lizard Brain. Now, it's a little gender-absolutist for my preference (could do with "most" in front "women" a little more often), but I've certainly seen all the behaviors mentioned in various of my martial arts classes, and out of them. And it got me to thinking.

My dad taught me to box, when I was so small that he had to get down on his knees for there to be any point to it. This wasn't part of a big training scheme or anything; my dad was a state Golden Gloves champ in his youth, he liked boxing, and it was something fun we could do together. I learned how to throw a good punch before I was in kindergarten.

But reading that article, I realized I also learned some other things:

Girls can compete with boys in physical activities. When you're three, your dad is pretty much the model for how you view male humanity. My dad had no problem with strapping on the boxing gloves, getting down on the floor, and duking it out with me. Therefore, duking it out with a guy (literally or metaphorically) is normal and okay, even expected.

I can be hit in fun. (Point #2 of the linked article.) Boxing gloves are padded, and my dad was always careful not to hit hard enough to do any damage. But he wasn't an inanimate punching bag, and I got popped in the face plenty of times. And the world didn't end; it didn't even wobble. I've encountered women (and a few men) in my various martial arts classes who'd never previously been hit, and they've told me it's a big hurdle for them to get over; from a self-defense aspect, it stops them cold because it's so unfamiliar. Whereas my immediate response is that supposedly-male one of "Wow, a new game!"

Makes it a lot easier to learn stuff. And it means that should I get hit for not-fun, I know it's not the end of the world; I can move past it and do what needs to be done.

I can hit, too. My dad taught me to box for real; I won't claim the four-year-old learned all the nuances, but I got the basics of everything from making a proper fist to footwork to follow-through. More importantly, my dad got popped in the face plenty of times, too. And he didn't break, the world didn't end, and not only was I not chastised, I was praised for getting through his guard. So obviously girls can hit, and girls may hit.

A tiny little girl can rock a big man back with the right hit. My dad eventually stopped boxing with me, when I got to the point where I was strong enough and skilled enough to do damage but hadn't yet developed the control not to. Pity, but again, this wasn't deliberate fight training, this was just something fun for us to do together. There's all kinds of implications to that: I can defend myself. I am good at this physical combat thing. I can knock back my dad (the epitome of male humanity in my small mind), therefore I can hold my own against any boy. I do this, I'm a girl, therefore girls can totally play this game with the boys.

It's not insignificant that I learned all of this before the age of five, smack in those "formative years". It wasn't just boxing, of course; my dad also taught me hunting and fishing and sports and other "boy stuff"; by the time I encountered any social messages that some things weren't for girls, I had a solid grounding of "I do those things, and I'm a girl, so obviously that message is wrong."

I don't think any of that was something my dad meant to teach me; in later years, his was one of the voices asking why I didn't do more "girl stuff" (a message I knew was wrong, thanks in large part to him, and so could ignore). He just included me in things he liked to do. But it was something I learned from him all the same, and boxing was one of the ways I learned it.

Huh. Thanks, Dad.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
And while I'm in a meta mood, here's something interesting: “Saving Lives”?, in which Dr. Lisa Freitag looks at whether modern medicine's focus on saving lives is either accurate or good for us.

Go read these.

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 07:15 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
In lieu of actual content, some links:

Bitchslap: A Column About Women and Fighting, #4: Lineage is technically about martial arts and ancestry, but really it's about living life rather than waiting for it to have happened to you. It would be today's quote if quoting the whole article were feasible.

Ask more questions! And answer them! 'Cause that's way more fun, and makes cool things happen.


Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 08:59 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
This would be today's quote, except that I'd wind up citing half the article. Just go read it for yourself.

On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs

Short fiction rec

Thursday, April 19th, 2012 11:38 am
lizvogel: lizvogel's fandoms.  The short list. (Fandom Epilepsy)
Dinosaurs of the Southern Dust Bowl, free for your reading pleasure in White Cat Magazine. A delightful little tale, and no, the title is not misleading.

There's some other good stuff there, too. Check it out.

SGA Fic Recs

Friday, April 2nd, 2010 11:51 am
Investigation into the effects of zat'ni'ktel fire on the common Peep, by Samantha Carter, by [ profile] penknife. This is so brilliant that I wish I'd written it!

Also good (although tragically lacking in Peeps) is Four Times Rodney McKay Got Shot Saving the Day (And One Time He Didn’t) by [ profile] linziday.
lizvogel: lizvogel's fandoms.  The short list. (Fandom Epilepsy)
...commodorified has a fine post about the merits of looking for beta-readers among readers, not necessarily among writers.
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
[personal profile] traveller has yet another how to write fanfic post, which has some good points (and some bad ones) but IMO is mostly notable for the link, deep in the comments, to David Foster Wallace's article Tense Present. Nominally a review of a usage guide, it really uses that as a jumping-off point for an entertaining discussion of usage rules, who gets to make them, and why they matter. The article's a few years old now, but no less worthwhile for it.

Go read it for the phrase "barrel of drugged trout," if nothing else.
[personal profile] penknife's charming little SGA ficlet "Reality Show" (which you should go read, now) got me to thinking not just that Sheppard & Carter's worldviews were, yes, informed by Star Trek, but how.

What Sheppard took away from Star Trek: If you're friendly, well-meaning, and have a nice smile, the universe will take you at your intentions, and not look too harshly at your results.

What Carter took away from Star Trek: There is no such thing as a technological impossibility, only technology that we haven't quite figured out yet.

Thoughts? Other characters?
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
(Crossposted from LJ on 6/15, because I forgot before.)

The Different Types of Critiquers by [profile] elissadcruz. An excellent list of the various types of critiquers, with their flaws and merits. Seriously, I think I'm going to keep a printout of this handy for discussions with my writing group.




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