[sticky entry] Sticky: LB's Welcome Post!

Oct. 26th, 2014 07:30 pm
lb_lee: A pencil sketch of me drawing/writing in my sketchpad. (art)
Hello! Welcome to the writing site and blog of LB Lee, AKA Loony-Brain.  We're a multivarious entity who makes mental health comics, draws pretty pictures, and writes about reality melting.

Quick Links For New Folks on Dreamwidth:

Quick Links for Our Work


Stories for sale! ) 

EDIT:
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lb_lee: A happy little brain with a bandage on it, surrounded by a circle and the words LB Lee. (Default)
There is a chestnut of misinformation on tumblr claiming that 'system' is a term made by DID folks, for DID folks, and nobody else is allowed to use it.  This is often wrapped up in the idea that multiplicity is owned by people with DID/DDNOS/OSDD, and anyone else claiming it is appropriating.  This is utter nonsense.  I've written numerous posts on this before, but here is the more thorough breakdown, first focused on the politics of this statement, and then the actual facts of reality.

The Politics: why this argument doesn't make sense, even under its own logic. )

The Facts: twenty-plus years of non-DID multiples using 'system.' )
lb_lee: A picture of Sneak smiling (sneak)
Hello!  It's Sneak!  I was thinking about an article that [personal profile] metahacker linked, this one about designing sites addictively.  And it's made me get on board with Mac and Biff's idea about changing how we interact with the Internet!

Namely: we will be deleting our Facebook, and drastically cutting down our tumblr time (if not ending it entirely).

But my reasons for it aren't the same as theirs.  Biff just doesn't like the Internet in general, and Mac noticed that it wasn't making us happy.  Rogan has said he finds internet stuff increasingly overwhelming, and I think I know why: the newer generation of social media sites are designed for constant interaction.

We grew up in an older Internet time, where you weren't expected to be online every day.  You could take a break for a week, and quickly catch up, no problem!  Forums, DeviantArt, Livejournal, all of these sites are (or were) not intended to be used multiple times a day, every day. (Unless you're a HARDCORE user.) The sites were also designed for specific things: to make posts, or put up art.  They weren't expected to be everything for everyone, and while DeviantArt had forums and chatrooms, you could do perfectly fine without them. (And I don't think the chatrooms were there when we first joined.)

However, as time has gone on and more folks are on the Internet more often, these sites have changed their design philosophy.  Instead of being made for folks to interact maybe a few times a week, they're now made to be posted on multiple times a day for long stretches.  They're also more generalized.  For instance, Facebook was originally intended for folks applying for college, or in college; now it's used to organize offline events and work engagements, catch up with people from your past, and have heated political arguments.  It has groups, events, chats, games, individual pages, all with very questionable security and ethics, and they sell the information for profit.

I don't think it's paranoid to say that a site like Facebook designs itself to be as omnipresent as possible so they can get as much information (and therefore as much profit) as they can from their users!  But I can say that it makes the site not a lot of fun to be on, for us anyway.  Even the nicest site in the world would get overwhelming and tiresome when you're encouraged to be there all the time!  And by trying to be everything for everyone, their designs tend to fall apart, because they're trying to do so many things at the same time.  So it becomes awfully byzantine (in the case of Facebook) or just plain incoherent and broken (like tumblr)!

Arguments and conflict happen on every website.  But when a site is designed to be used all the time, the rate of interaction as high as possible, then it means that instead of seeing conflict maybe once a month, you see it all the time, and that's its own kind of draining!  On the whole, I think that we are just not able to keep up with sites like that, and that it's bad for our health to try.

In other words, it's time to refocus our online energy to websites that are designed for fewer, more specific interactions!  Therefore, I personally vote in agreement for deleting our Facebook, continuing our low/no tumblr usage, and refocusing our attention on sites like Dreamwidth.

--Sneak

lb_lee: A picture of Sneak smiling (sneak)
Hey guys, did you love the gorgeous textures and typography for our covers of the Homeless Year and Alter Boys In Love?  Awesome news, the designer friend who did those is now selling awesome queer disability pride shirts!  We're planning on buying the purple one with the pink 'disability pride' letters.

Also there's a sale going for about nine more hours, so snatch one on the cheap!

Woo, T-shirts!

--Sneak and Mori

lb_lee: Miranda saying "REALITY" with airquotes. (realitylolz)
Hello all!  As you can see, we've returned from our trip, and it wasn't as bad as Mori feared.  We're rather tired, but I'll give the quick sum-up!
  • The con went very well.  The entire trip cost us less than thirty dollars, thanks to Rogan selling well.  Huzzah!
  • We took all the photographs we needed of our childhood neighborhood, and I daresay we are now prepared for future comics set there.  Well done, dears! (However, we did not get to visit Candle Cave.  That's all right, Biff got a good hike, and regardless, we went in presuming it would be a bonus, not a given.)
  • We got to see some people of our past, including a couple high school friends, and Dr. Drag. (Dr. Drag was our first therapist, though we have not had that sort of relationship in years.  She has mentions on this blog, probably buried under the 'therapy' tag.) Their generosity allowed us to make this trip, and we are very grateful.
  • Rogan finished Alter Boys In Love, but due to the printer's website being broken on Mozilla and some truly peculiar requests regarding our formatting, we have not managed to finish the order.  We hope to complete that today.
  • Due to the intense work schedule, and the emotional challenge of returning to our hometown, Rogan has been worn out.  He will not be fronting for a bit, and Mori, Biff, Sneak, and I will manage things until he has rested up.

Thank you for your patience!
--Miranda
lb_lee: M.D. making a shocked, confused face (serious thought)
So, while researching our childhood neighborhood, we ran across an archive of the old neighborhood newsletter, going back to 2010.

Most of it is basically what we remember--babysitting, Lawn of the Month, classifieds, neighborhood events, water rationing and fire safety... and then there's some weird stuff.  Mostly of the "Suburban Gothic" variety, but some honestly just strange.  Skimming a year and a half of this newsletter for photos, I learned...
  • There are adults in our neighborhood who would chase teenagers in their car for knocking over trash cans.  And have a car chase with the kids until the cops came.  And then be called a superhero.
  • Somebody killed a deer with a crossbow.  And just... left the deer to run and die. (The newsletter reminded everyone that the neighborhood was not a hunting zone and to be nice to the animals.)
  • The turtles in the pond get blamed for everything.  Everything.
  • Somebody got murdered and their body got dumped in the park, but don't worry guys, he wasn't one of the neighbors!  The neighborhood remains safe!  It's all good! (The turtles were not responsible.)
  • People have very, VERY passionate feelings about who exactly is allowed to use the pool and basketball court. (The pool is now open to folks only with a keycard, which is just the strangest thing ever to me.  I mean, I understand that this is a thing that happens, but really, were there truly that many people sneaking into the pool for nefarious purposes?)
  • Texas is apparently God's country.
  • People really want those turtles GONE.  Nobody knows where they came from.  Nobody knows why their population skyrocketed so.  But nobody wants the turtles.  The turtles have taken over.  They're not even snappers or anything, just your usual red-ears, so I'm not sure what people's beef is with them.
I am left with the assurance that the Homeowners Association is just as strange a beast as I suspected.

lb_lee: A pencil sketch of me drawing/writing in my sketchpad. (art)
We will be out of town for Staple Con, Saturday September 9th and Sunday the 10th,  at the Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex  in Austin, Texas!  We will be at table 48B!

Due to the con, we will be out of town from Thursday to Tuesday, and we will not be online during that time.

EDIT: added table

lb_lee: A short-haired person flexing their muscles and declaring, "Queer trans multi proud!" (pride)
Queer-baiting is a fascinating (and maddening) subject for me. I feel that it’s so complicated because there are different rules for different periods of time and different levels of mainstream. Getting a queer character in a gay newspaper comic was a totally different business than having one in mainstream superhero comics. However, I think I know what my personal dividing line is!

Namely: if a creator never brings up the queerness at all, that is fine. I accept that I am projecting myself and my desires into a work (or that the creator is sneaking under the radar). If a creator brings up the queerness and makes it open, ala Dykes to Watch Out For, then that too is fine--I have myself a genuine queer character! In neither case do I feel baited.

However, I do feel baited when the creators make clear that they’ve thought about the queerness involved and bring it up to the audience, only to then take pains shooting it down, or making a joke about it, or otherwise deflecting it. Then I am left with the feeling that a creator has thought about the idea of having a queer character, only to go, “Nah.”

Creators who intend to have actual queer characters, even if they use subtext at first, will show increasing care for the issues as time goes on, often fighting for more and more representation as their careers progress. That “baiting” feeling comes when the subtext is considered a feature, not a bug, and kept for its own sake, never to change. It’s that context that makes a big difference to me.
Read more... )...they deflect. Often with a joke. In I Can’t Believe It’s Not The Justice League!, pictured above, the joke is at Booster Gold and the Blue Beetle’s expense--it’s funny because they’re offended and wigged out by the implication that they’re “more than friends,” or that their teammate would tell Booster’s wife that. And sure, this is a comedy book where everyone acts ridiculous, but still, the base undertone of the story isn’t that being gay for your best friend is okay. (For even when characters say “there’s nothing wrong with it,” it’s hard to believe them when there are no queer characters to model it.) It’s that being gay for your best friend is... well, a joke. And also might get you in trouble with your spouse.
Even when the joke is ostensibly “friendlier,” the deflection aspect bugs me. The bromance of Hot Fuzz doesn’t have the same punch-line as the I Can’t Believe It’s Not The Justice League joke. In Hot Fuzz, there was originally going to be a female love interest character for Simon Pegg’s character, but the character was scrapped and her lines given to Nick Frost’s character instead. The joke mostly seems to be about embracing that homoeroticism, perhaps asking why it makes people uncomfortable, or where the line is drawn. The actors and director involved voiced their official support for slash fic about the characters, even calling Hot Fuzz slash fic all on its own.

But here’s the thing. Pegg and Frost’s characters, for all this lauding and official approval, aren’t actually gay. They might star in an R-rated movie with impalement, decapitation, and geysers of blood, but they aren’t gay. The screencap above is the gayest things will get. The whole thing is just jokes--winks at their audience and fanbase, along the lines of “you’d like that, wouldn’t you?”

Unlike Coville or Stevenson, these guys don’t show increasing engagement as their work progresses; this is all anyone gets. In Shaun of the Dead from 2004, there were jokes about Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s characters being gay for each other. In Hot Fuzz from 2007, there were jokes about Pegg and Frost’s characters being gay for each other. And in Paul, from 2011? You guessed it, jokes about Pegg and Frost’s characters being gay for each other, where the title character asks by simulating a blowjob and then insisting that there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s exactly the same level of jokes and engagement, no change--and again, it’s hard to say “there’s nothing wrong with it” when you never actually allow any character to say they’re “it” on screen. Never once do any of the characters involved say, “Why, yes, I am” when asked if gay. In Shaun of the Dead and Paul, they say no. In Hot Fuzz, the question is never asked to begin with. When the creators are asked, they joke around it, but never really say, knowing that the ambiguity is all part of the game.

After all, “slashy” and “gay” are not the same thing. Slash, by its very definition, requires that it not be canon.
I’m not saying that these works are bad; like I said, I enjoyed them a lot at the time. And I’m not saying they can’t be helpful or meaningful to queer folks; part of why I loved Hot Fuzz and I Can’t Believe It’s Not The Justice League! so much in college was because I myself felt that my being gay was terrible and bad, so I found the ambiguity and deflection relatable and engaging. It allowed me to think about things like the fact that I was gay for my best friend or wanted to cuddle with him while still pretending to myself that I could be a conventionally masculine, “normal” guy, avoiding the stigma of being gay.

But that was me projecting myself into the narrative, not what the narrative was actually telling me. That was me having such a dearth of actual gay characters to relate to that I found straight characters who said they were straight more relatable!

As time went on, that changed. I found more queer media with actual queer characters, and realized that the stereotypes in my head did not actually reflect queer reality. I discovered that queer stories were so much more than the soap opera tragedy and coming out stories I’d read so many times before--that I could read about queer superheroes, queer space captains, queer lovers who could actually kiss and fuck on-screen and say “I love you” on-screen, without an immediate, “you know, in a platonic way.” I could read about people who were actually like me, not people I pretended were like me.

Had I read ICBINTJL or watched Hot Fuzz now for the first time, I probably wouldn’t like them very much. I didn’t get to Paul until a year or two ago, and I didn’t enjoy the bromance; as I watched Seth Rogen’s alien mime blowjobs for laughs, only to say, “not that there’s anything wrong with it,” I only felt uncomfortable, knowing that I was the joke, that someone like me would never be allowed to actually be queer on that screen.  Even when Paul said that everyone on his planet was bisexual, it rang false to me.  If that were true, why would he ask?  Why would he do so coyly by miming blowjobs instead of asking straight-out?

Because the performance was not actually intended to be for my benefit, or my bi husband's benefit.  It was for the straight audience's benefit, the ones who were in on the joke.

And that was when I felt baited.
lb_lee: A happy little brain with a bandage on it, surrounded by a circle and the words LB Lee. (Default)
The Reality Warper
Series: Battle the Universe
Word Count: 3000
Summary: A former superhero breaks out of the mental hospital, and reality starts to go horribly wrong. Tank tries to help.
Notes: This story was sponsored by the generous Patreon crew! It takes place after Tank got fired from respectable superheroing, and references some of the events in The First Rule of Blackmail, but you don't need to read any of the other stories to get this one; all you need to know is, Tank is multiple, and Kara and Lucinda fielded this case.  Scroll to the bottom to see the content warnings.

Helena Liu woke up and reality wasn’t real.

Oh, it looked real, but Helena knew. She always knew. Proper reality had a texture, a special way it felt against her fingertips, and if it wasn’t there, then she knew it wasn’t real. When she woke up, there was no texture, and even though everything still looked all right, she knew it wouldn’t for much longer.

She tried to tell the hospital staff, but they wouldn’t listen to her. They told her to keep to her routines, take her medication, and they just didn’t understand. To act like this was acceptable would be to encourage it, and Helena couldn’t do that. She’d made a promise.

But she couldn’t explain that to them.

Read more... )
lb_lee: M.D. making a shocked, confused face (serious thought)
What is this?

Okay, how can I summarize this.  Someone wants to make a movie out of a self-published book.  Somehow gets the idea that if they game the New York Times Bestseller List to get the #1 spot, they will get a movie deal, starring herself as the protagonist.  A lot of money gets thrown around, a Potemkin publisher is set up to give this book the slightest lacquer of legitimacy, bulk orders are made at New York Times-reporting stores to game the system, nobody actually buys this book... oh, and actors from Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, American Pie, and Twilight are involved.

Plus some bands.

I swear to god, this is the craziest thing I've seen in a while involving book publishing.  What on earth even is this.

Some intrepid newshounds are on the case, updating as new info comes in.

I don't even know what to make of this.

lb_lee: M.D. making a shocked, confused face (serious thought)
Hey y'all, it's Mori.  I'm positive there are some hardcore Latin nerds following this blog, so I wanna double-check:

Is "mementote Mori" grammatically correct Latin? (Mori being my name, not, you know.  The verb form of death.)

--Mori
lb_lee: A happy little brain with a bandage on it, surrounded by a circle and the words LB Lee. (Default)
Well, this is a shocking stretch of coincidence.

Okay, so remember Tristan Grey, the subject of Cultiples #1?  It turns out I personally know someone who went to school with one of his victims for a while!  What are the freaking odds?

Obviously, I never took steps to make a connection with the girls Tristan kidnapped; why on earth would I want to remind them of such a horrible part of their childhoods?  But my friend apparently sent some casual inquiries, and it seems the girls are doing well.  For their privacy, I won't disclose details, but one of them has finished college; the other is still working on her degree, and they're apparently doing well!  It appears that they've been able to mend their lives and find happiness.

So that's a good thing at least!  Seems like a good end to that whole horrible mess.

--Rogan

lb_lee: A tiny MSpaint drawing of Princess Judith from the Princess and Her Monster, frowning and shouting, "I DISAPPROVE!" (judith)
I FINALLY found that stupid Princess and Monster/Battle the Universe crossover shipper fic I made in 2010, the one where Gate/Gad gets together with T. It was a stupid crackmeme prompt that ended up spawning The Princess and Her Monster in its entirety, and the character of Trick/Tobiach.

I’d been searching for this stupid thing forever, only to never find it, and today I discovered why: I PUT IT ON MY FUCKING 1998 LAPTOP. No wonder I couldn’t fucking find it, Jesus! What the hell was I thinking? And I named the doc something ridiculous and weird too, so there was no way I could’ve told my comp to search for it.

You have no idea how happy I am to have found this stupid thing, for records if nothing else.
lb_lee: A happy little brain with a bandage on it, surrounded by a circle and the words LB Lee. (Default)
Hey everybody, it's that time again: time to vote for which story gets the Patreon money this month! 

As always, anyone can vote, but patrons get double weight for their votes.  If you'd like to be a patron and get bonus content, please consider joining up on Patreon!  And if you want to see the blurbs for any of these stories, those are here!  If you don't have a DW and so can't do the poll, that's okay; just leave your vote in the comments below; anon comments are turned on.

Which story gets the money?  YOU CHOOSE, readers!

Poll #18698 August Patreon Poll
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 10


Are you a Patreon patron?

View Answers

No
5 (62.5%)

Yes
3 (37.5%)

Which story gets posted this month?

View Answers

Number One and the United Delland Coalition (I
2 (20.0%)

Style over Substance (Durable Medical Equipment)
4 (40.0%)

The Reality Warper (Battle the Universe)
4 (40.0%)

Starfishing
0 (0.0%)

Death, Will, and the Girl
0 (0.0%)

lb_lee: A cute little sketchy heart, colored pink. (heart)
Hey guys, recently I read a romance novel I thought folks here would enjoy!

On Thursday, I was feeling like absolute garbage, and as I headed out of the library, I found myself wanting some good ol' comfort reading: a gay romance, preferably not with a pure white cast.

And lo and behold, the library delivered: Wanted, A Gentleman, by KJ Charles.

A queer historical romance with a dashing black lead? That's also funny and well-paced? Sign me up! )
lb_lee: A pencil sketch of me drawing/writing in my sketchpad. (art)

A cute image of LB smiling down at a map of Boston Comic Con's Artist Alley, showing that we will be at table AA507.

Yes, we’re going to be at Boston Comic Con, sharing a table with E.J. Barnes‚Äč, the writer for Bring Me the Head of Phineas Gage!  We'll be there all three days, all the hours.  Come check us out!

lb_lee: A happy little brain with a bandage on it, surrounded by a circle and the words LB Lee. (Default)
Okay, so for everyone's geeky entertainment, here is the full-text transcription of my first exposure to the concept of multiplicity: Pg. 377-380 of The Book of Lists #2, by Wallace, Wallechinsky, Wallace, and Wallace, copyrighted February 1980.

Many of the cases listed in this book have since been recategorized as non-multi. And this is a pop culture book that gets a good few of its solid facts wrong (which I will add in notes when I know), but I still hope you guys will enjoy it.

10 PEOPLE WHO WERE 74 PEOPLE

Read more... )
lb_lee: A happy little brain with a bandage on it, surrounded by a circle and the words LB Lee. (Default)
Well, fuck tonight.  Got involved in another beating. (Not me, someone else.)

Was walking home from BCR tonight, and I was almost home when I see someone jogging.  He's talking loudly and strangely, but I can't make out the words; I think maybe he's on earbud-phone or something, and then he comes into the streetlight and he is COVERED IN BLOOD.
He's going to be okay. I'm going to be okay. But seriously, FUCK tonight. )
lb_lee: A happy little brain with a bandage on it, surrounded by a circle and the words LB Lee. (Default)
Found an awesome book by Carrie Dearborn called Quiet In The Tornado: A Disability Primer.  Thanks, library!

Its sections on "Disability 101: Where to go for Housing, Work, and Benefits," "Work and Benefits," and "Getting on SSI or SSDI" are some of the most concise and readable I've seen.  Highly recommended!

Will add to healthymultiplicity.com when I can.

--Rogan

lb_lee: A pencil sketch of me drawing/writing in my sketchpad. (art)
Since Number One has the spotlight in A Frayed, Wasting Death, I thought I might put up some concept sketches and stuff about her!  So here's the Number One.  She's M.D.'s big sister.Art of the best worst sister you could have. )
lb_lee: M.D. making a shocked, confused face (serious thought)
A Frayed Wasting Death
Universe: Infinity Smashed
Word Count: 3500
Summary: While M.D.’s in therapy, her older sister drops in to try and get her medical care, but things go horribly wrong. Also M.D. finds out exactly how she ended up on earth… sort of.
Notes: This story takes place during M.D.'s care in Raige at ROAR!, and you’d be best served reading that first. This story was sponsored by the Patreon crew! Story notes at bottom.


“You do realize, of course, that she’ll be back?” Flame signed.

It was one of those things they’d all been avoiding. But Flame and Scorch had had to patch their junior healer up after the last run-in with that “sister” woman, and if they couldn’t avoid another incident outright, they could at least plan for it.

M.D. sighed. “Yeah. I’m in bad shape. She’ll take advantage of that.”

Scorch got down on his belly beside her. “You know more about her than we do. What do you think she’ll do?”

“She likes plans and puppeting people. She’ll probably try to trick her way through first, and only get violent if that doesn’t work. And she likes chain whips.”
Read more... )
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