elialshadowpine: (Default)
C&P from FB because I wrote a post nearly as long as I would've here.

We're in a bad state right now. We had been getting $700/mo in rent assistance, and we abruptly found out that it was canceled. On Scott's income alone, we run $200 over budget, and that's only bills, and it doesn't count household necessities like shampoo, toilet paper, menstrual supplies... cat food and litter...
We are desperate. I don't know how to pay rent, and our housing is at risk, plus our other utilities. I am terrified, and I do not know how we are going to make it through the next few months until tax return hits and we can use that to pad things out a bit. I have made a lifelong habit of paying it forward, and if anyone is able to aid myself and my family in our time of need, I cannot put into words how grateful we would be. In addition, we have several rewards for those who might want to contribute and get a little something out of it. I've done Tarot readings for years, and I am offering multiple types. I am also offering the chance to have a minor or major Tuckerization (character named after you, or choice of name) for my forthcoming work. I am also offering personalized stories of 1k-10k words, including character names if desired, preferred tropes, and more; this will, of course, require discussion.

Scott, who has been doing chainmail for 20+ years, is offering several types of jewelry (and a wallet chain that could almost double as a weapon) in hypo-allergenic titanium. I will be posting an update with a photo of my chainmail bikini top as an example of his work. He is extremely good at what he does.
If you can help in any way, please, it would be very appreciated. Any little bit helps. If you are unable to help, please share this post; it's public, so it can be. There is also more information about our situation in the GoFundMe introduction itself.

Thank you for whatever you are able to do. We all appreciate it, no matter how small or how large. Please do not feel bad if you are unable to contribute financially; this is a tight time of year for many people financially due to holidays, and I understand that well. Signal boosts and sharing are just as important as financial contributions. Again, thank you all, and I love you. Yes, even those I don't know personally who may have seen this shared. I love you for reading this, and for whatever you may do. Blessed be.

GoFundMe link is here.
elialshadowpine: (Default)
I posted about this before, but I'm still short on money for my medication. I at this point need about $150 by the end of October. The money that my ex is sending me for medication will HAVE to be used as rent money, because my current partner only gets paid once a month, on the 15th, and because he didn't get out of training until the end of Sept, we are going to be short on money for rent in November. Thus, my med money is going to need to go to... having a place to live.

So, I put out the hat again. My PayPal address is mistressnonny@gmail.com. Any little bit is appreciated, as are signal boost. Love you guys! <3
elialshadowpine: (Default)
So, I have raised about $220. THANK YOU EVERYONE. It turns out Morgan will be able to pay the $600 this month that I am supposed to get for medication costs, so that will... almost cover rent.

What I need to raise at this point is probably about $200, because it's not quite rent, plus I have medications that will need refilled... at the beginning of the month, and they add up. This is a MUCH easier goal to reach than the full $850. Again, any little bit helps, even a $5 or $10. Seriously. It adds up.

If you're able to help, awesome; if you're not please signal boost? Here is the following altered text:

[personal profile] nonnycat is in a bit of a pickle. She now has (almost enough) money to cover rent, but not enough for medication that she needs to control a chronic pain disorder. These medications, even with insurance, come up to about $200. If anybody is able to help, her paypal address is mistressnonny@gmail.com, and it will be greatly appreciated. Signal boosts are also appreciated!
elialshadowpine: (Default)
At this point, I don't think there's anyone who hasn't heard about Robin Williams's death, ostensibly from suicide. Something that does bother me, perhaps more than the assholes that make comments about suicide being the coward's way out (and if this is something lurking in the back of your head, please read this essay, which is the most excellent I have read on the topic), is that the fact that Williams had bipolar disorder is all but forgotten.

I have bipolar disorder, type 2. This is generally considered the "less severe" type. I have no idea what type Robin Williams had, and it doesn't especially matter, since suicide is a risk factor for both types. I'm not entirely sure what I'm meaning to write here, but the rest is going to go under a cut with a general trigger warning for discussion of bipolar disorder, depression, suicide, coping mechanisms, related etc )
elialshadowpine: (Default)
A perennial question amongst the writing community these days (particularly in post-Racefail SFF) is that of representation. It's heartening to see it as an active topic of discussion, but I think that something that gets lost sometimes is how important it is. I'm many things: pagan, polyamorous, (mostly) lesbian, mentally ill, on the Autism Spectrum, disabled, childfree, gender-questioning, among others. Let me tell you my story.

I grew up in a very Christian household, and a few years of my teen life were tarnished by my Dad getting into Christian Fundamentalism (of the "listening to rock music is signing an implicit contract with Satan for your soul" type, also "music in other languages is secretly witch spells being cast because you can't understand the language" -- let's just say my listening to Rammstein didn't go over well). I was pretty isolated as a child and teen because I was homeschooled and lucky to see another person my own age every six months. This background is important later.

more behind the cut... tw for mentions of depression and suicidal feelings )
elialshadowpine: (Default)
I posted a version of this on FB. I figured it probably deserved to be posted here, too, because I cannot be the only one having these issues. I'm revising it a bit because, well, Facebook isn't exactly meant for long posts... you can do them, but I doubt very many people click the "see more" link, if they even see it (at least, I've missed it more than once).

I think most folks know I have a Nook. I've, er, been a little evangelistic about it in the past. >_> Morgan and I were gifted with our first Nook Color back in 2008 when the rheumatoid arthritis that we both have hit Morgan's hands hard enough that they literally could not hold up a book to read anymore. I have similar problems with my hands, although I can read YA in print (... y'know, unless it's a doorstopper like some of the Harry Potter books), but any adult romance or SFF was right out. My own Nook Color followed suit, and I bought a Nook HD+ last year, which I'm starting to regret having purchased the 3yr warranty for.

However... for the past several months, I have been having issues when trying to purchase e-books. Often, BN.com will not let me log in (I'll put my username and password into the log-in, and it just... won't log me in). That's been happening since September or so, and I was able to get around that by going to the Nook-specific page on BN.com and logging in... but even that doesn't work half the time now. Something else that started in December is that clicking the "Buy Now" button will not bring up the pop up to purchase. I have confirmed this is not an error with my computer, as it has happened under multiple OSes and multiple browsers. I have run into about five unique types of errors, and I have friends who have been experiencing the same. BN support is useless; they have no idea and try to tell me it's my computer. DX

Some months ago, B&N updated so you can use the Google Play store (at least on the Nook HD+, I cannot say for the other devices) which includes the Kindle app. (ETA : I have just been informed this was a temporary glitch and you can no longer add the Kindle App on Nook unless it is rooted. Well, fuck me if I ever have to wipe and reinstall.) I have really avoided buying books from Amazon, because they are the elephant in the living room when it comes to digital book sales. I'll admit I also have an emotional attachment to B&N. My childhood was wretched in a lot of ways but all of my family are huge readers. Monthly trips to B&N or Borders were special, because while we normally made lists of books we wanted to check out and see if the library had (considering that we usually walked out with lists of 20+ books between the 4 of us... it was kinda necessary), but we also always got to pick out one book to take home. More if we chose to spend allowance money. So, I have happy fuzzy warm feelings with B&N.

But... the way they have handled e-books is truly abysmal. I mean, the site issues that mean I can't buy except from my device directly (and even that doesn't always work; I've gotten errors there, too, and if I want more than one book, finger typing the author name and title is annoying.), which is definitely a problem. Add to that, we had a BN membership for years, but they seem to offer less and less. There's I believe a discount on print books bought in stores, and there's free shipping for books bought online, but nothing for digital books. Unless I've missed it, there's nothing to incentivise readers to go into their stores and purchase digital books in store. Some of our favorite restaurants are up by our local B&N, and if they had something like that, we'd totally go in, use the store as a showroom, and buy online. We also almost always get stuff from the Starbucks in the B&N, too. We spent a not insignificant amount of time and money in the store, that they have completely lost. I mean, I understood why they didn't have anything like that when agency pricing was a thing, but now that it's gone, they're still sticking with the same old model. *headdesk*

(Edit for people who don't know what agency pricing is: this was a collusion between the Big 5 NY publishers and Apple to price fix books to prevent Amazon from discounting. If you really want some schadenfreude, look up the case, it's... look, I couldn't write fiction like this because nobody would believe people could be so stupid. All the pubs settled, and there have been many discounts, but Amazon still has an average lower price and more frequent discounts.)

The same old model is not going to work, and it doesn't seem like their stores are doing all that well, either, what with the plans for store closures, and that they are winnowing away books bit by bit. I don't go into a bookstore to buy kitschy knick-knacks, I go in to buy books. You know. These things.

Since I haven't been able to buy books on BN.com reliably for months, I've gone over to Amazon since I can read them with the Kindle app. I was shocked to find on a regular basis that books were $2-4 cheaper. I read a lot of YA, and BN would price them at $9.99-13.99 ... Amazon, $9.99 is the highest I've seen, with exceptions for niche stuff, and often they are lower. I see discounts a lot, and I don't mean necessarily the super-low 99c or $2.99, but $3 or so off the list price. $2-4 savings on a book is a really big deal when I often buy multiple books at a go.

What really struck me today though was Amazon's also-bought. I have heard good things about it from indie authors but I haven't really used it as a reader, not since I was a teen looking for new SFF. I went to pick up one book... and ended up picking up seven or eight, multiple by indie authors, because they popped up on the also-boughts (all steampunk, with the exception of a gothic romance set in Victorian England, which is close enough). BN's also-bought is... well. Flipping awful. I've had their also-bought pop up with books that aren't even in the same genre. (And I don't mean science fiction instead of fantasy, I mean stuff like religious non fiction when the book I was looking at was an urban fantasy demon hunter novel. WTF??)

I feel almost like I'm doing something "wrong" by "betraying" BN, but I know that's ridiculous. I've stuck with it a long way, probably longer than most people, and... well, WTF am I supposed to do if their site is so screwed up that I can't actually buy the book. I'm not going rah-rah Amazon, because I do have concerns about monopolies, but at the same time, their customer experience is a hell of a lot better than I can say for B&N right now. And I save money on books, which means I can buy... more books... wait, what is this "savings account" that you speak of? >_>

Much <3 to anyone who managed to read through this novel of a post... lol (and yeah, I know, I know, it took me this long to figure it out...)
elialshadowpine: (Default)
So, the local salon I go to had a 20% off sale for anything done as a celebration for the snowstorm from hell being over. Since I had been meaning to get my hair done anyway, I went ahead and did it. My hair was supposed to come out fire engine red, which it did not, but my hair does weird things with color, and I love this color anyway so it's not a huge deal.

THERE BE PHOTOS INCOMING.

Also: Bonus picture of husband-creature, who finally got around to dying his hair blue like he has been wanting for the past ten years or so. Woot!

Drake helped me out with the photos, which were taken on his Motorola Xoom tablet. I'm rather impressed, as they grabbed better pictures than my camera (which is admittedly ancient) and also, he managed to get the pictures at the exact angle I like. I've had very skilled photographers not be able to do this correctly. Also, I normally get 1-2 usable pictures out of a batch, and I have about a dozen here.

I don't think he has realized how dangerous this is, because now every time I want to do pictures, I will be yoinking him. >_>

PHOTO SPAM )
elialshadowpine: ([whedon] no power in the 'verse)
I was going to post something earlier today but needed to wait to get permission. Now that I have it, here goes. I'm sure [livejournal.com profile] omimouse will have a more detailed post up later once they're home, but these are the highlights from what she and Louis have told me.

First, I need to explain the people involved as they're a polyamorous group, which makes it more difficult than "husband" and "ex-wife." [livejournal.com profile] warinbear and [livejournal.com profile] catchild used to be married but were divorced a few years ago. [livejournal.com profile] omimouse is involved with both [livejournal.com profile] warinbear and [livejournal.com profile] louisadkins. [livejournal.com profile] ebonunicorn is [livejournal.com profile] catchild's new husband and partner of several years. There are three children involved: Bearcub, Puppy, and Pooka, listed by age. The eldest two are [livejournal.com profile] warinbear's; the youngest is [livejournal.com profile] ebonunicorn. They lived together at one point but Warin, Louis, and Naomi separated a few years back from Catchild and Ebon (whose name is on record as Paul Alexander Montgomery the Third, but I will refer to as Ebon for simplicity, and the fact that I hate he shares a name with my boyfriend).

A bit over a year ago, Bearcub confided in Louis and Naomi (who might as well also be her parents) that Ebon raped her from the time that she was 9 to when she turned 11. At that point, she demanded he stop, and he did -- but not without continuing to harass and express interest. This was reported to the police immediately, and DCS got involved.

Might be triggering... but read... please read... )

ETA: News article on the trial here. Also, Omimouse's entry.
elialshadowpine: (Default)
This song is perfect for the current situation. Look it up online, or at least the lyrics.

I'm not covering Holly Lisle's ass anymore. I'm not covering anything up here for her. You can shovel the shit under the rug, but sometimes it's got to get cleaned up.

If you've read the Moderator Changes thread at Forward Motion, you have at least one side of what happened. Heavily slanted in the worst possible way to make Shay and I look bad. I expected this. It's not the first time I've seen a smear campaign go on Forward Motion, but last time, I made the mistake of siding with Holly. I want to make a public apology here to Jennifer St. Clair, who was banned from FM last year. I still don't know the full story behind why she was banned, but given my recent experiences, I'm liable to believe she wasn't in the wrong.

When I first came to Forward Motion, I was 17. I've never acted my age, but whenever anyone found out how old I was, they suddenly treated me different. Either they avoided me or they patronized me; a few honestly treated me like an adult. I don't believe in judging people by the calendar. I've known too many people who're well over legal age who act like spoiled grade school kids and too many underage kids that act like adults to ever do that.

I saw underage kids on FM get similar treatment. Allikat and Julia would get teased about shit that adults didn't, just because they were underage. I saw people support Alli's father's verbal and emotional abuse because she was underage and "it's natural for children to feel that way towards their parents." I didn't want to get treated that way. So I stayed silent about my age. When asked, I would say I was a college sophomore. Which I was, because of WA State's Running Start program which provides college tuition for gifted teens.

Omitting my age out of fear of discrimination is just as valid as if I were pagan or gay and feared the same. Actually, I would have felt safe coming out pagan or gay (I did come out bi in FM and no one had a problem with it). Age is the real discrimination issue on FM. Moderators would deny it, but look at some of the posts and blog entries about children and their views towards them. I don't trust overprotective parents, no matter how well-intentioned they are, because I lived with mine for 18 years and went through a lot of hell. Overprotectiveness often causes the exact opposite desired effect. It's not right to patronize people and distrust their judgement based soley on their age.

In September 2002, Holly Lisle asked me to become a moderator on FM. I was honored that she thought that highly of me. There was nothing on the site that said you had to be 18 to be a mod, so I agreed. I acted with decorum as a moderator, and I was active both on the boards and in chat.

When I turned 18, I wrote Holly a request to join Writerotica, and apologized for any trouble that my omission might have caused her personally. Not because I regretted what I'd done, but I'm prone to gratuitious apologies for other people's feelings, something I'm working on.

I'm not apologizing for anyone's feelings here.

Holly wrote me back and said that it was fine, that everything was going to be okay. Things got back to normal and I figured she understood.

About a month and a half later, a thread was posted on the moderator's board about problem moderators. In it, Holly desrcibed a moderator that had lied about her age in order to gain moderator privilages, that she should have been a Junior Moderator. I wasn't aware the position existed, except that I vaguely recalled Julia and Nathan being Junior Mods, but they were active on YWS--something I never joined because I didn't fit there. Holly also said that moderator had been writing erotica and talking openly about it in chat, and who'd become romantically involved with an adult member of the site. She then went on later in the thread to say that I had written her, knew that I'd done something wrong, and apologized for it. Which I hadn't done, and I still don't know how she managed to interpret my letter that way.

But--there was no other moderator that fit that description. It could only be me, and I couldn't respect myself if I ducked my head and pretended it wasn't. So I posted to the thread and said outright that she was talking about me. I said that I hadn't lied, and that I hadn't been aware of any age requirement to be a moderator. I went up and looked around the site again to be certain. No age requirement. But apparently I was breaking rules?

You can't bind people by unspoken rules. People aren't mind-readers.

I also said that I didn't believe I'd done anything wrong. Omission isn't lying. I said that if I had it to do over again, in the same situation, I would have done the same thing. Somehow that became "Nonny would lie to Holly and not have a problem with it." I don't lie, and as I said on that thread, that was the only thing I'd been hiding. I gave her my word of that. I had nothing else to hide about myself, and I was glad of it.

Holly flamed me in response on the thread. She said multiple places that I didn't have integrity or ethics--or words to that effect. She chat banned me, then banned me from the moderator's board while I was ruminating on my reply. I don't like to make angry posts. They never solve anything. I didn't know what was happening. I was terrified of losing the community. The timing of the incident royally sucked, because it was just before I thought I had to make an emergency evacuation from my home in WA. Thankfully, with that situation, my parents chilled, and I didn't have to. But I posted about it on my blog. I still don't know if it was intentional or just bad timing. I'd like to believe the latter.

But--at the time, I didn't know if I was going to lose FM totally, when they were all I had left. Without access to the mods board, I couldn't do anything. The only thing I could really do was email or post publically. The latter would have gotten me booted. The former--I'll be honest. I didn't and don't trust Holly enough to want that to be private. Without other witnesses, it soon turns into a game of "He said, she said."

I got banned completely from the site that night, with my access removed. A moderator--I'm not going to say who--told me that Holly had posted on mods board and said that I'd reacted with militant rage in my post and was no longer welcome at the site because I didn't have any integrity.

I don't rage in posts. Like I said, it never does any good. I've found cold logic more than anything else works. It didn't in this case.

The only reason my access was returned was because Robert talked to Holly in private chat and managed to talk her down. I'm incredibly grateful for that. I don't know what I would have done then if I'd lost FM.

I didn't say anything about the incident after it happened because I was so afraid of being booted. The reason I was banned in the first place is that I disagreed with Holly on what constitutes a lie. I'm honest to a fault. I don't lie. I'll omit, but that's it, and I'd said as much on the mods board, and then only if I have reason to, closet being one of the few. Being underage is as much a closet as anything, and I respect closets.

In retrospect, I'm glad that Holly stripped me of moderator status. Mods board is a huge fucking soap opera, and it took a lot of time and effort. I'm sick of soap operas. Being removed from mod gave me distance to really look at things.

The rule Holly states on Main about moderator's board business staying on the mod's board was never posted anywhere when I became a mod. It didn't go into effect until after I'd been booted. It'd been an unspoken rule. I'm not bound by unspoken rules. Holly said on the Site Rules post on Main, "If you were ever a moderator, even if you aren't now, material on the moderators' board remains confidential. That's Shay, Nonny, anyone. If you decide you want to take confidential material public in an effort to argue with site policies, you'll (generic, not personal, you) be banned, right then and right there."

Sorry, but you can't bind people who are no longer moderators by a retroactive rule. They have to agree to it. And given as how I've already been banned, there's not much holding me back, is there?

I'll be honest. FM isn't what it was when I first came there. It's become more and more policed by moderators. Robert and I, and Alli and Erik, have been warned in chat for "Public Displays of Affection." One incident, we'd just said "Love you! Sleep well! *snuggles*" to each other. The no-PDA rule is only on the mods board. I have a problem with rules being kept secret so people don't know they're breaking any. After I was booted from moderator status, I'd been talking with someone and mentioned Holly had said there was a possibility I might be reinstated in the future. That person told me she'd made a rule that moderators have to be 21 now.

Funny thing is, I'm pretty sure some of the current mods are under 21. I might be mistaken. But this sort of thing should be openly posted, not squirrelled away on mods board.

I've talked multiple people out of leaving FM over Holly's site rages during the past months. She flamed PL on the saving the world thread back in February. I was a mod at the time and protested. If anyone else but her had behaved that way, they would have been banned. Shay had it right when he said that the site host should be more subject to her own rules than members. Otherwise you have a tyranny.

When Holly posted that FM isn't a democracy, that it's her living room and her rules--fine. I can understand and respect that. That's part of why we're starting Evolution, we're tired of the unilateral rules that're subject to whatever mood Holly happens to be in at the moment.

A couple weeks ago, I received a letter from Holly that insulted someone very dear to me. She further showed me who she was in that letter, and I started to get the feeling that things were going to hell, especially when Shay mentioned leaving again, after the ACLU thread from hell where Holly pretty much spoke out against free speech. That time, I didn't talk him out of it, and we both knew that he would be banned, given that anyone who dares disagree publically with Holly risks banning.

Holly posted that Shay and I were going around trying to get people in private IM in order for some sort of site conspiracy. That's not entirely true. Robert and I, along with some other friends, had decided to start a sepate branch writing site dedicated to free speech and creative expression in all genres. Evolution is that site. I went into chat and PMed friends and asked them into private IM to discuss development plans. I didn't have the site ready yet, and I didn't want to talk about it openly until it was closer to completion.

Is it now against site rules to ask people from chat into off-site IM conversations?

I'm glad I decided not to grab a private room on FM for Evolution discussion. Anything I happened to say to friends when venting would have been posted publically on FM out of context, as evidenced by Holly posting Shay's PMs.

People have said that Shay posted information about me without my consent. For the record, I okayed his resignation letter and didn't consider anything in it inflammatory. I also want to say I trust him implicitly and am proud to call him my friend. If site policy can't be criticized in public without the poster getting banned, there's something wrong. People who feel the same way as the banned aren't going to speak up. They'd be too afraid to.

I want to publically commend Big Mikey for having the courage to speak up on that thread and stand up for Shay. Thank you. That took a lot of courage.

Read the whole thread on Main. It's a doozy. Shay and I've been accused of being childish and playing games. Keeping a site that's early in development under wraps isn't a game. Apparently someone in a PM had said that I was afraid Holly would be mad. That's not entirely accurate. Holly has proven herself to be unpredictable. Actually, no, she's proven herself to be predictable in that imagined worst case scenario is probably the most likely response. I didn't know how she would take it, and I didn't want to say anything to the group at large anyway until I'd gotten Evolution up.

We also've been accused of trying to "steal members." That was never my intention, and I posted that on the thread. I was planning it as a branch community. There'd be FM members, there'd be Evolution members, and there'd be members of both. I was planning on being the latter, because I love the people at FM and didn't want to leave.

I posted that explanation on the thread. Actually, this is what I posted, word for word: "The reason I haven't been publically open about Evolution yet is that it's been in development and was in planning stages. I wanted some help with the site and brainstorming, but didn't feel comfortable discussing it openly. So I asked some friends into IM to brainstorm.

"I don't know what other people have been saying in PM. I can't speak for them. FM means a lot to me, and I don't want to "steal" people away. I don't think you can "steal" people. There were people who expressed concern in development chats that I and/or others would want them to abandon FM, and, to be honest, I was shocked at that, because that's not been my intention. Shay, Robert, and I intended it to be a branch community, with people in FM, people in Evolution, and people that are members of both. We aren't out to "steal" members. There's no real point to that. The last thing we would want to do is tear up the community."

I received this reply from Holly: "You've worn out your welcome here, Nonny. Between the lies and the theatrics, I've reached the end of my patience. You can either leave on your own, or I can kick you out, but I don't want you back here."

I don't see how keeping a site under wraps is theatrical. That single post was the only post I made on the thread at all. This reeks of projection. But ... I had a feeling when I posted, no matter what it was, that I would be banned. After the way things blew up, I honestly didn't expect anything else.

I don't agree with a lot of Holly's policies, but I'm incredibly grateful for all the writing help I've received, and the community is probably the best thing that's happened in my life. I'm going to miss that.

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elialshadowpine: (Default)
Nonny Blackthorne

January 2017

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