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[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Your amanuensis is pleased to inform readers that the new series Clorinda Cathcart's Circle will be inaugurated with The Ironmaster's Tale, which will be published in a week's time and is now available for pre-order.

Visitors to the website will note its refurbished appearance and the inclusion of sample excerpts from the texts in question.

It is anticipated that volumes will appear at approximately 2-monthly intervals. In order to keep people informed, besides this journal and the @MadameClorinda twitter, a newsletter, Clorinda's Salon, has been set up, for the communication of developments. Subscribers will receive a free story ('Finding Her Place (Sophy's Story)').

An Unquiet Spirits snippet

Feb. 21st, 2019 10:25 am
alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)
[personal profile] alex_beecroft
“I was surprised you accepted our invitation, Lady Artemis,” Jasper said as he and the lady edged out of the crowd in the ballroom and approached the punchbowl. “I thought you despised me.”   “Oh, that little indiscretion?” Lady Artemis gave an affected shrug, dismissing the thought of the worst time in Jasper’s life as if it was a tiny peccadillo. She had been the bane of his life in London, where she had interested herself in the life of his parish, and—he had thought—influenced his parishioners to ignore and berate him. “Nonsense, that actually made me fond of you. It is Catholics I can’t stand, my dear boy. Sodomites are perfectly charming.”
Even now in his own house, Jasper jumped at that. The memory of the pillory was in him at all times; he would never forget that he was vulnerable, that his fellow men were cruel, or that one wrong word to the wrong person could ruin his life. “I pray you, do not say that so loud.”  
“Hah,” Lady Artemis reached up and toyed with the golden anchor that hung from a chain from the ship that surmounted her piled wig. She was a great benefactor of the poor, and Jasper had wished to be on friendlier terms with her, but now was the first time it had seemed that his ambition might succeed. “I forget sometimes that you are not a great man in yourself—so close are your ties with young Charles. He would not let you come to harm, surely?”  

Jasper’ spirits, never terribly robust these days, dipped. It must have shown on his face, for the lady grabbed her cup of punch in one hand, his arm in the other and hauled him into the smaller solar—now abandoned, as it was the middle of the night.

A great desire for council came over him, and there was something about her that had even him wishing to spill his secrets. Which was odd, when he thought about it. Something like a compulsion.   Perhaps she had put something in his glass? But no, he hadn’t yet sipped. His eye caught the jewels in her ears and saw the spell carved in the green jade—oh. A fellow dabbler in the arcane, and one who already knew what he was.  

“I’m not sure how sturdy my relationship with Charles is,” he said, the words pouring out of him in a tide. “He cheated on me, and I cannot forget or forgive it. I keep trying, and at times I think I’ve succeeded, but it comes back. Every time it comes back.”  

“Cheated?” Artemis scoffed. “What, are you two married? Have you made declarations of fidelity? What nonsense! Do you not know that a man of Charles’s stature would never give fidelity to his wife, let alone—if you will pardon the expression—a man of a certain nature. You ask too much!”  

Jasper knew it, but it wasn’t pleasant to hear. In his nightly fretting, he had considered that the problem was not Charles at all, but his own unwarranted jealousy. “Yet, because I am not married, what is to prevent any of these flings from becoming more important to him than I am?” That was the crux of the matter. “I want him to be in my life permanently. I want a commitment from him, so that no matter where his affections lead him, I am always his partner and at the very least his friend.”  

Jasper had not known this about himself before. He’d supposed that marriage was a noble thing, a melding of two into a single flesh, and had not seen its practical application as a legal contract which could be relied on when human nature failed.  

“You must find some other contract,” Lady Artemis said as though she was reading his mind. Her sharp little eyes were embedded in rolls of fat—her figure was ample and her face one of those moon-round visages with high cheeks and heavy brows. But her eyes were extraordinary, a gold that gleamed even in their shadowed recesses. “Buy a house with him. Doubtless it frets him to dwell here in your ancestral manor, as though he was a penniless guest. Having somewhere of his own will tie him down.”  

“I had not considered that,” Jasper admitted. He had supposed Charles would enjoy being out from under George’s thumb, but if that meant putting him under Jasper’s perhaps it was no improvement. “Yet anywhere else in the country we would come into too much scrutiny, living together.”  

“Not in London,” Lady Artemis pointed out. “London does not pry into people’s business if they are discrete, and if they keep those in the know happy. In London you could find more purchase for your talents—you are ghost hunters I believe, and solvers of murderous crimes?”  

Jasper laughed. It was true enough, and their reputation was spreading both among Charles’s friends and among the esoteric underworld that he frequented. But she had a point. Why not go to London—sell the Admiral’s house and pool the money with whatever inheritance Charles was entitled to, then buy somewhere that would truly belong to both of them? The deed of ownership would be more binding than a common man’s marriage. It would make for something—some tangible proof that he was more important to Charles than anyone else.  

Speak of the devil. Charles flung open the door of the solar and ran in. His blond hair was dishevelled and his pink coat seemed to be smoking at the hems. When he caught sight of Jasper a kind of impatient gladness flashed across his face, followed at once by irritation.   “Your daughter is setting fire to the curtains again.”  

Jasper nodded curtly to Lady Artemis and took off running. His ‘daughter’ was having troubles these days. He had supposed it was due to his own troubles with Charles, but the sinister bent of her outbursts continued whether they were speaking or not. He would not like to confess it to anyone, but there were at times moments when he wished he had not told her he would look after her.  

He skidded into the library, to find that Lily was standing next to the great drapes. Her face was full of Satanic evil, and flames enveloped her tiny form– now the size of a girl of five. She was sweet and open-faced when she was in her normal mein, as a silvery apparition with bows in her plaited hair. But today her eyes were all black, and a flame seemed to dance in the centre of them even as it did around her ethereal body.  

“Lily,” Jasper urged her, fighting his own desire to back away, “Come now, tell me what the difficulty is. What has made you so very angry?”  

“I am in hell!” she cried, and pitiably he saw her own expression on the swollen, feverish face. “Help me, daddy. They won’t let me go! Help me! YOU ARE A FAILURE AS A FATHER AND A SINNER WHO DESERVES TO BURN.”  

That was not her voice. Jasper staggered back and collided with Lady Artemis who had entered the library behind him and stood wheezing with the effort of having climbed the stairs.  

“Oh goodness!” she said, her gaze very clearly fixed on Lily. This was confirmation of the suspicion Jasper had had when he saw the esoteric designs on her earrings. The lady was a witch. She could see Lily, at least, because she went down on one knee and held out a hand to her as a man might try to coax a snarling dog. “Come now, pet. Can you tell the nasty man to go away? Do that for your daddy, can’t you? He is getting very concerned.”  
“He doesn’t care,” Lily said, turning half away. Her small voice was her own again, and as they watched, her normal pearly lines emerged from the flames as though water had been poured on her. “He’s too busy worrying about my cousin. Because my cousin is a Latham, and the Lathams can’t control their bestial urges.”  

“Pshaw!” Charles said, sounding very like his brother. He ran past Lily to beat the flames out of the curtains and prevent them from setting alight to the books. “I never had a bestial urge in my life.”  

Jasper shook his head. He did love the young idiot. But he wished he could reach out and wrap Lily in his arms and hold her away from all things that might harm her.

“I’m so sorry, Lily,” he said instead, also going down on his knees. “I thought this was you, being angry. I had no idea something on the other side was working through you. I am going to find a way of making it leave permanently, you’ll see. You shall not endure this alone any more. I am with you.”  

Charles shook his head and reached down an imperious hand, which Jasper caught without thinking about it. “We are with you, Lily,” he said. “But we also have a party going on. Do you think you could avoid setting fire to the house or the guests until they’re gone?”  

“I suppose.” There were no tear tracks on Lily’s shining face. Jasper had discovered over the last year that her emotional range was narrower than that of a living child. There had been nothing but calm acceptance or rage from her, and sometimes a wisdom that seemed unnatural. “Promise you’ll save me?”  

“I promise, Jasper said, watching her disappear with the words. God, it was an evening of vows, wasn’t it?  

“How extraordinary,” Lady Artemis said, fingering the scorch marks on the curtains as if to prove they were real. “I didn’t know you had a ghost child, Charles.”  

“It’s not something I drop into casual conversation,” Charles scoffed, still rather frazzled. “Nor something I honestly know how to deal with.”  

“She called you ‘cousin.’”  

“It’s a long story.”  

Lady Artemis snorted. “I’ll bet. Well then, what do you propose to do about this?”  

Jasper had been wondering that himself. It seemed to him that the ghost child inhabited an afterlife in which other more sinister presences also dwelt. She was like a little conduit through which they could insert themselves into the world. “We should close the conduit,” he said, trusting Charles at least to follow. “I mean, we should deny this other presence a right of access to her—body, for lack of a better word.”  

“How exactly do you propose to do that?” Lady Artemis said, “I have never heard of such a case.”  

“She was killed in her mother’s womb,” Jasper explained. “This life after death of hers is an extraordinary circumstance in itself. But I think we must start with a baptism. God knows what unholy things might be able to batten themselves onto her, given that she is un-baptised and her mother for so long was interred outside consecrated ground.”  

“Well,” Lady Artemis gave her supremely unconcerned shrug again. “I may not like Catholics but I will admit that their rituals are efficacious. Perhaps you will indeed be able to clear it up so simply. But I fear it is far more complicated than that, and I have to say, rather you than me. I don’t think I will visit again until this is finished. One way or another. Good luck! You will need it.”

Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Romance.

Chocolate Box 2019

Feb. 21st, 2019 09:18 pm
vass: Small turtle with green leef in its mouth (Default)
[personal profile] vass
Sorry for not having posted any recs or a shout out to the people who wrote me gifts before now. For bad brains reasons, I... kind of haven't read anything in the collection apart from the two gifts I wrote. Which were great:

Doubt is Imperial Radch, and is Breq/Anaander hatesex. Or hate-something. Going in the direction of hatesex. A delightfully nasty Anaander.

New Life is Silmarillion and is a very gentle AU in which instead of being known as the first person to die in Valinor, or for giving birth to Fëanor, Míriel is the first person to be granted a divorce by the Valar, and then ends up with Indis.
marahmarie: clapping back at L'Orange (Madame Speaker)
[personal profile] marahmarie

Pelosi asks Congress to terminate the false national emergency which Trumpelstiltskin didn't need to "do", by his own admission.

Liavan:Spring - Part 3

Feb. 21st, 2019 08:16 pm
rix_scaedu: (Elf)
[personal profile] rix_scaedu

This follows on from Part 2 and runs to 3,251 words.


The light of dawn revealed no lurking, massive animals, but something had been rooting in the earth on either side of the track in the gully. That sign was accompanied by perfectly normal, if massive, porcine hoof marks and more of the castings that Liavan had seen the previous afternoon. Liavan went soberly back to the cottage to water her beginnings of a garden and begin work on the enchantment that should allow her to travel easily to market days. If it didn't work, then every market day trip would take three days and involve two nights in an inn as well as a lot of walking.

Read more... )
Part 1.
Part 2.
This is Part 3.

 

2 Interesting articles

Feb. 21st, 2019 03:26 am
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
[personal profile] sasha_feather posting in [community profile] access_fandom
Ariel Henly at the Washington Post:

Hollywood should know better: You can't tell evil just by looking.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/hollywood-should-know-better-you-cant-tell-evil-just-by-looking/2019/02/19/bf066ee6-2020-11e9-8b59-0a28f2191131_story.html

Moviegoers are supposed to know that characters such as Scar in “The Lion King,” Freddy Krueger and Doctor Poison are evil simply by looking at them. And it’s an impression that lasts long after moviegoers leave the theater, conditioning the general public to fear individuals who, like me, have asymmetrical faces, burns or scars, and to believe that we are not worthy of equality, empathy and inclusion.

Andrew Todd at /Film:

Off the Deep End: ‘A Star is Born’ and Why the MPAA Needs to Include Depictions of Suicide in Its Ratings

https://www.slashfilm.com/a-star-is-born-suicide/

Content warning: this article contains forthright descriptions of suicide and suicidal thoughts. It also contains spoilers for A Star is Born.

Jussie Smollett needs better lawyers

Feb. 21st, 2019 03:50 am
marahmarie: (M In M Forever) (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

In an article with the slightly infuriating lede on MSN.com of how JS "hits back", his lawyers are quoted as saying (emphasis my own):

“One of these purported suspects was Jussie’s personal trainer who he hired to ready him physically for a music video[...] “It is impossible to believe that this person could have played a role in the crime against Jussie or would falsely claim Jussie’s complicity.”

So wait. His lawyers are saying 1) this person (who's already been taken in and questioned along with an alleged accomplice - his brother; ultimately neither was charged) couldn't possibly have done it because uh, he knows JS. So through his lawyers JS has basically communicated, "Nah, not this guy, he didn't do it." Which is fine and well - but then, what about the first part of the lawyer's statement?

[...] Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with[...] “He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack.”

You can't have it both ways: First the lawyers say these are the alleged perpetrators and because they're known to him, this is so angering, then they say, "Oh, but no way one of them could be involved because he knows JS (though they just said they *both* know him, so!) and no way this one'd make up a false story on JS making up this story, either."

Huh, what? If I was a good listener, which I may or may not be, I might come to the conclusion that what his lawyers are trying to say is: "We think the police got the wrong guys, especially because this one guy is this great dude who was working with him on his new music video, so Jussie doesn't think this could possibly be them". So why couldn't they just say that, then?

The names of the brothers have been out as suspects for I don't know how long now - days? A week? So why couldn't JS speak up sooner to say, "I don't think this was them" if that's how he really feels/what he really thinks?

Live From Instagram

Feb. 21st, 2019 08:54 am
finch: (Default)
[personal profile] finch
Painting at midnight. #crosspost
https://ift.tt/2tAy4b3

Emotional Intimacy Question: Wishing

Feb. 21st, 2019 01:02 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Folks have mentioned an interest in questions and conversations that make them think. So I've decided to offer more of those. This is the current list.

19. If a genie granted you three wishes right now, what would you wish for?

1. I wish you free.
alexseanchai: Ladybug, of Miraculous fame, with a rainbow Pride background (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
CN serious injury, self-injury, blood. Might also choose not to click if you're unnerved by vampires.

seriously )

ETA: I did math and no.

Comic for February 21, 2019

Feb. 21st, 2019 11:59 pm
[syndicated profile] dilbert_feed
Dilbert readers - Please visit Dilbert.com to read this feature. Due to changes with our feeds, we are now making this RSS feed a link to Dilbert.com.

linkspam delayed a day

Feb. 20th, 2019 11:50 pm
sciatrix: Rosa Diaz looks down at her lap, laughing. (hidden-smile)
[personal profile] sciatrix
--because I started reading [personal profile] greywash's Magicians fic, and the one she recced, today, and it was enthralling.

You have to understand, I read The Magicians when the book first came out, and I was very excited about the concept but I hated the book. I have never been a fan of the kind of pointless ever-encroaching grimdark that the book felt like, and I firmly felt that Quentin was a little oik and that Alice, frankly, deserved much better. I think I gave my copy away to an ex-friend I was cutting off for my own emotional growth, because her taste in literature tended towards that sort of thing, judging from the books she kept giving me as gifts.

So I didn't pick up the show when it came out, either.

But the fics! They are very good! and I need to actually comment, but they have been brightening my evening something fierce right now.

Poem: "Decent, Safe, and Affordable"

Feb. 20th, 2019 05:58 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is the free epic for the February 5, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl reaching its $200 goal. Most of the poetry is currently tied up in the half-price sale, but I just wrote this one yesterday. I finally figured out why Terramagne-America has such a better housing situation compared to here. This poem fills the "complex" square in my 2-1-19 You Are card for the Valentines Bingo fest. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

Read more... )

-_-

Feb. 20th, 2019 10:41 pm
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
My brother just lost his job, so now we're all even more stressed than before. Fluffy animal pics appreciated.
alexseanchai: Ladybug, of Miraculous fame, with a rainbow Pride background (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
Dear tablet autocarrot, if you persist in turning my "in"s into "I"s—and yes I fucking saw you; turning all my "with"s to "will"s does not help your case—then I will have you fucking executed.
alexseanchai: Ladybug, of Miraculous fame, with a rainbow Pride background (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
"Style Queen" shows us what happens when Plagg uses his power without routing it through Adrien. I don't doubt that Plagg was trying to keep a lid on the damage; he succeeded less well than in "Catalyst", but, you know, unlike in "Catalyst", in "Style Queen" Adrien was plausibly dead. But honestly that makes it worse, knowing that an upset kwami is a more dangerous kwami.

Tikki and Plagg are equal partners. Equally powerful.

(Plagg is canonically responsible for the Chicxulub impact. You know, the K-Pg boundary. The end of the Cretaceous.)

I remain of the opinion that of the pair, the Cat Miraculous is more likely to be misused. Cataclysm has more predictable effects than Lucky Charm.

But [personal profile] silveradept says—I'm not sure I agree, but for purposes of this fic I'm happy to roll with it—the Ladybug Miraculous gone rogue is the scarier.

What would happen if a pretty upset Tikki used her power without routing it through Marinette?

...

Yes, this relates to [personal profile] opensummer's WIP meme thread.

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