Let's Play: Stardew Valley | #20 Fall 4 Year 1

Another Stardew Valley video is up! ♡

Let's Play Darkest Dungeon | Week 9-11

Another Darkest Dungeon is up! ♡

Open Thread: Drops On A Plant


I really like this picture.  I hope you do too.

Sorry this is so late.  I was helping my sister on her farm today from absurdly early until nowish.


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We have special open threads set aside for discussing various movies, said discussions including plain text spoilers.  These are the current ones:
   ● Avengers: Endgame
   ● Captain Marvel
   ● Into the Spiderverse

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Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Let's Play: Stardew Valley | #19 Fall 1 Year 1

Another Stardew Valley video is up! ♡

Let's Play Darkest Dungeon | Week 8-9

Another Darkest Dungeon is up! ♡

Let's Play: Stardew Valley | #18 Summer 25 Year 1

Another Stardew Valley video is up! ♡

Let's Play Darkest Dungeon | Week 6-8

Another Darkest Dungeon is up! ♡

Open Thread: Color Like Whoa


There's a more in-depth explanation, but the short version is that I finally got around to testing what the "Vibrant" mode of current camera actually does.

Taken from my porch on the 27th of April.

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We have special open threads set aside for discussing various movies, said discussions including plain text spoilers.  These are the current ones:
   ● Avengers: Endgame
   ● Captain Marvel
   ● Into the Spiderverse

-

Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Let's Play: Stardew Valley | #17 Summer 22 Year 1

Another Stardew Valley video is up! ♡

Let's Play: Stardew Valley | #16 Summer 19 Year 1

Another Stardew Valley video is up! ♡

Time Quintet: Don't Worry, Be Happy

[Wrinkle Content Note: Unconscious Undressing, Captivity, Torture, Recreational Drug Use]

Wrinkle Recap: After their confrontation with IT went badly, Mr Murry teleported himself, Meg, and Calvin away. Charles Wallace was left behind. Meg is now badly wounded.

A Wrinkle in Time, Chapter 11: Aunt Beast

I gave Mr. Murry a lot of crap last time for passively letting aliens pick up his daughter and carry her away, but it turns out that he's actually going to protest because this scene starts on his next sentence. I'm so used to modern notions that a chapter ending should signal a scene-change that this was actually jarring to me, ha.

May Newsletter (2019)

It's May.

I don't really know how to deal with that, actually? I keep thinking if I wait long enough it'll start to seem like May, but I haven't gotten there yet. I don't really remember where April went. I was finally diagnosed with adult ADHD (yay!) but they put me on a medication which did not work (boo!) and I lost a couple weeks in a haze. I am now finally divorced (yay!) but that means I have to settle up with my lawyer (boo!) so that's been a lot of things.

But it's May. And I think that's a good thing!

May Things! I have words in my head that I want to get on paper for everyone, so that's my biggest goal for this month: get the words down for everyone to see. I have videos going up, so watch for those! I have art that I want to share with you all (art! I love art!) but that requires words so that's part of the "get words on paper" portion of this month. I'm still working an unsustainable amount of overtime at the Day Job but I'm going to try to balance that a little better. I have a lot of high hopes.

Reminder! It's a new month, which means new paper books for the $25 patrons and new bookmarks for the $5 patrons! If I don't have your address, send me a message on the internal system or email me at AnaMardoll at gmail dot com. I love sending ya'll things!

Thank you all so much again for being here with me. And, hey, I'm single again!

Open Thread: Signs of Life


I couldn't think of a good name, so I went with something generic.

Sorry this is so late in the day, I didn't get it done in the early morning, and then spent all day helping my sister turn her farmish place into an actual functioning farm.  (Third day in a row, and I'll be doing it again tomorrow.)

-

We have special open threads set aside for discussing various movies, said discussions including plain text spoilers.  These are the current ones:
   ● Avengers: Endgame
   ● Captain Marvel
   ● Into the Spiderverse

-

Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Let's Play: Stardew Valley | #15 Summer 16 Year 1

Another Stardew Valley video is up! ♡

Transcending Flesh: Boys Shall Not Pass

Note: This was previously published on my Patreon.

a pink and blue sky with a radio tower

This essay is one in a series which focuses on writing gender in science fiction and fantasy settings that provide body modification options beyond our current level of technology. Note that you can download this collection of essays from my website here.

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Transcending Flesh:
Gender and Body Diversity in Futuristic and Fantastical Settings


Essay #11: Boys Shall Not Pass (Gender Detection Spells)

Let's talk about Joanna.

Joanna is writing a whimsical story with young adults living together in school dormitories while they study magic. Gender doesn't come up much in the story (and that's fine) until Joanna remembers that she doesn't really want boys sneaking into the girls' dormitory to do naughty things. A easy solution presents itself: just put a gender-detection spell on the dorm and teleport away any boys who try to enter! The problem is that Joanna's story is now a mess of gender issues which effectively exclude trans people not only from the named cast of characters but from the background world-building at large.

What is this "gender detection" spell actually doing? It is the author's job to figure this out, first and foremost. If the spell is detecting genitals, then it is worth asking why it was considered appropriate for a school to conduct magical genital searches on underage students. That seems incredibly invasive and inappropriate! Why do school officials need to know what young Harvey's genitals are?

If the spell is detecting genitals, by what criteria are students barred from the girls' dorms? If the spell is looking for penises and ejecting anyone who has one, then trans girls who have not medically transitioned are being denied entrance to the girls' dormitory. If the spell is looking for, say, a uterus and ejecting anyone who doesn't have one, then cis girls with certain medical conditions are now also being ejected.

But what if the spell isn't detecting genitals and is instead detecting actual gender? Well, you can have spells which detect gender in trans-affirming ways, but it's still problematic for it to be used in this fashion here. Why? Well, you're now "outing" to peers and parents any trans boys who were closeted and living in the girls' dorms, potentially exposing them to bigotry and violence. The spell will also catch Luella in its net, as she is genderfluid and only a girl on every day that isn't Thursday; on Thursdays, Luella is a boy and now magically barred from the dormitory--which is inconvenient and cruel, to say the least.

If Joanna really wants a spell to keep certain people out of the girls' dorms, then she will need to make a listed database of people who are allowed inside and pair that databae with a spell that boots anyone not on the list. That way at the beginning of school year, people who can sign up for the "girl" dormitory include trans girls, closeted trans boys, nonbinary people, and genderfluid people. As a bonus, nothing at the school is rummaging around in people's pants!

It can be okay in certain instances to have magical gender detection spells which affirm trans people's gender. But those spells should never be used to forcibly "out" trans people to others, nor to expose them to violence or bigotry.