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Helpful hint: local offices of Senate/Congress members often still have (real, live) people answering phones when the DC offices are swamped. (Like, for example, today.) Look for a "contact" tab on their homepage.
aamcnamara: (Default)
I've talked to several people now about my Epic Plan.

In summation, the Epic Plan consists of doing history-of-science research next summer at the British Library. In Anne Conway's papers, specifically, which: aaa, getting to do archival research at a huge library! It'd link in to my physics major, because she worked vaguely in that area. It would also link in to my Critical Social Thought minor (currently undeclared) focusing in Narrative; I'd bring my research back senior year and write a thesis, probably something along the lines of "a short story about Anne Conway plus a long academic essay about various choices I made in the writing of it".

(Like I said. Epic.)

Both my advisors are on board with this--my CST advisor, who's kind of a history-of-science guy, offered to do an independent study with me in the spring so I can get caught up on all the secondary-source reading I'll have to do ahead of time.

I don't have to propose it formally until February, when the college-wide application for summer funding is due, but I went to talk to the relevant people anyway. Basically, they said that my project sounds really cool, but they can't give me that much money, so what I need to have (in my application in February) is some kind of housing figured out for the 4-6 weeks I'd be in London. What the person recommended was looking at the alum network for MHC, but I looked at it and there are no MHC alums in London who're offering to host current students (boo).

So--flist! Do any of you know anything about finding inexpensive housing in London?
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So I'm (re?)writing a short story. It started life as a first chapter written for my YA GLBTQ lit class last J-term; now I'm going back in, realizing it doesn't need to be a whole novel, and overhauling it into short-story form. (Longish short story, but still.)

(This may also have something to do with it--but hey, why not, and I've been meaning to do something with this idea, anyway.)

What's weird about this story is, okay, first off that it has no SF/F-y elements, but secondly and more importantly that it's set right here right now today. I have a bunch of early-teen characters, and all of them are at least vaguely geeky. All of them have accounts at a bunch of different websites: various blogs, Tumblr, Twitter. I'm having to get the cultural references right--research included currently-popular fandoms at fanfiction.net. I have to do the research, but this is really familiar ground for me. I know where to look, even if I don't know the particular details when I'm starting out.

Which is a complete change from a lot of my other stories which try to steer clear of particular here-now references, maybe a cell phone or two but largely that quote-unquote timeless stuff, things that won't change too much over the next few years or maybe in the next decade. It's weird to see how the story comes out, what changes and what stays the same.

...I don't know. Is making specific references a good or bad thing? Does it date a work, or enhance it? If I get one little bit wrong, will it throw people completely out of the story--more than if I just left it vague? Possibly there are no good answers.

(Either way, I think maybe I will try to keep some of this specificity when I slide back into genre, even if it's not what social networking sites my characters frequent. What people do on the Internet, at least in my corner of it, is something I know a lot about, so maybe I should make that level of know-how and detail my baseline for everything else.)


Jan. 12th, 2011 11:22 am
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I'm looking for a photo-hosting service with few/no known security concerns, where you can make albums private (ideally password-protected, ideally not the kind where you have to have an account on the site to view private albums), also where you don't have to click the button for 'female' or 'male'.

Sites that I'm aware of are things like Picasa (doesn't seem to have the sort of private albums I want) and Photobucket (has that sort of private album, but not so much on the gender thing).

I know DeviantArt just went through the whole gender thing, but I don't know about private albums and that's not quite the sort of thing I want anyway. Mostly I have pictures of friends, of various events (tea party!), and of me wearing nice clothes.

What site am I missing? There must be something out there.

... see, I am contemplating moving all my stuff off Facebook, as the site does its tenth redesign and I have continuing itchiness about the whole privacy/security thing. But I won't until I have full functionality elsewhere--I don't mind having to have accounts at several sites, but if I'm up and moving off Facebook, I want those sites to be good ones, darnit.

For me, full functionality means some kind of restrictable photo-sharing thing, microblogging, and blogging. Blogging is what LJ/DW are for; microblogging, I think I have a line on something, but I also might end up on Twitter. Restrictable photo-sharing... anyone?


Dec. 12th, 2009 03:58 pm
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It has come to my attention that Arisia happens in Boston in January, which just so happens to be when I will be in Massachusetts for my college's J-term. (Or not a coincidence, since the J stands for January, but anyway.)

Being a big fan of SFF conventions, I am pondering attending. However, I haven't heard a lot about Arisia, probably because I've always lived halfway across the country from it. So: what manner of con is it? About how large? Knowing what you know of me, would I enjoy it?

Many thanks.
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(I am aware that there are LJ communities for this. I have reason to believe that you guys probably have read a lot of the same books I have, and therefore have a good chance of knowing it yourselves.)

So I'm at my grandmother's house, and the bed that I am staying on is a Murphy bed. If you did not know this term--I didn't, until recently--a Murphy bed is a bed that folds out of a cabinet on the wall. Murphy beds are phenomenal.

The thing is, I am certain that at some point I read a book where the main character got to sleep in a Murphy bed (though I am also certain they never used that term) somewhere he was living, and he was very excited about it. I can't remember what book it was, or anything about it except this bit about the bed folding out from a cabinet, but there you have it.

I keep thinking it has to be something like Charmed Life, because this sort of bed is just exactly what Cat Chant would have thought was so awesome, but it definitely wasn't. Still, that and A Little Princess keep running through my head, so it's probably something vaguely close in feel or time period to those two books. I'm fairly certain it was middle-grade; I'm fairly certain that the protagonist was a boy. In my picture of it in my mind's eye, the sheets and everything are red, but that could just have been my imagination.

(I also don't think it's probably a book that I own, but as I can't look through my books right now, I can't confirm that.)

Ringing any bells?
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No writing yesterday.
Today, progress was 467 words and now the total wordcount is 2766.

Things researched: decomposition of human bodies in water.

Wikipedia, I have discovered, will tell you the steps of decomposition in humans, but not what humans who have drowned look like. However, Google will quite cheerfully give you a PDF to download of lecture notes from the forensic medicine department at some university about "bodies in water", which is exactly what I was looking for.

I think I like Google better.

(In other news, I apparently have at least one friend who believes we should be having 'normal conversations'. She also does not believe that excited conversations about researching drowned bodies fit this model. I am not sure why she has these erroneous beliefs.)
aamcnamara: (Default)
A request:

What are the books you think of when you think of YA SF?


An explanation:

First of all, while everyone's talking about how big YA SFF has gotten lately, it seems to me like that's far more F than SF.

Secondly, I've mostly been a reader of fantasy, but if there is a hidden shelf of awesome YA SF somewhere, I want to read it.

Thirdly, I've had a YA SF story idea lurking in the back of my mind for coming on a year now, and I still don't quite how to write it, but maybe reading other YA SF novels and stories would help me figure it out.

May 2017



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