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crowdfunding is in the LJ Spotlight this week, and we've been having some lively discussions. You should come join us! If you're a writer, artist, musician, or other creator, then you can use this community to promote your project and to discuss how to run a cyberfunded project. If you're a patron or fan, this is a place for you to talk about your favorite projects, find new ones, chat with creators, and meet other patrons.

Rose & Bay Awards

The Rose & Bay Awards focus on a growing business model known as "crowdfunding" or "cyberfunded creativity," which directly connects creative people and patrons of the arts online. The awards span six categories: Art, Fiction, Poetry, Webcomics, Other Projects, and Patrons. (Other Projects includes any cyberfunded creativity that isn't art, fiction, poetry, or webcomic, or that spans more than one category.)

The nomination period is over, but you can vote through the end of February, and in exploring the nominations, you may discover something you'll love. To learn more, visit the 2011 landing page for the Awards, or check out this helpful guide to all of the nominations.

And if you have a crowdfunded project of your own, be sure to post about it in the crowdfunding community. Maybe next year your project will be nominated!

You're invited to a Feast of Poetry

stryck is offering another Feast of Poetry today, and you are invited to partake! Go to http://stryck.livejournal.com/773263.html and request a poem by suggesting verbal or visual prompts and poetic forms.

Also, next Tuesday, March 2, ysabetwordsmith will be offering another of her Poetry Fishbowls. This time the theme will be "elements & elemental spirits." She'll be soliciting ideas for elemental mages, elemental spirits, scientists, individual elements, systems or sets of elements, elemental spells or magic, elemental science, the history of elements, elements in the news, plot twists involving elements or spirits, elemental settings, and poetic forms in particular.


stryck is offering "Poetry Nibbles: a Serving of Haiku" today. You can leave her a prompt at http://stryck.livejournal.com/762516.html, and she will write a haiku for you.

In other news, my blood sugar has been uncooperative today and I have a migraine, so I'm going to go hide someplace cool, dark, and quiet for a while.


Steampunk Icon Day!

djinni is hosting a Steampunk Icon Day today! He is taking requests for steampunk icons of you, your character, or your pet, drawn in ink and watercolor. He will sketch as many requests as he can get to today, and if tips reach his goal, he will draw every request. So go request an icon!

Examples of icons he's done for past icon days (warning - huge art post!) are available at http://djinni.livejournal.com/206289.html.

The Icon Post where you can leave your request is here: - http://djinni.livejournal.com/206669.html.

More art

If you haven’t discovered Ursula Vernon’s art and writing yet, you’re in for a treat (my eternal gratitude to memegarden for the links). You can browse her LJ ursulav and find links to her website and webcomic in her userinfo. I was laughing when I read her description of the blog-o-sphere:

This always reminds me of bathospheres. I imagine people in little iron balls, sinking into the dark waters of Livejournal, peering out at the drifting inhabitants. "Ooo! An angstfish! Note the pity lure dangling from the front of the head, with which it lures in unwitting sympathizers!" Darting shoals of quiz results flicker past, a lone phosphorescent photosquid slowly jets by, before it's startled into voiding its link sac and vanishing in a cloud of little broken picture icons. Off in the distance, great shadowy sharks cruise, discussing politics and religion and making elaborate qualifiers that they don't mean YOU, you're one of the NICE ONES, while tiny remoras slip along their skins, picking off bits of drama. Jacques Cousteau narrates as we visit this deep and complex ecosystem.

I was also quite fond of an illustrated short story she completed recently about a Little Creature: http://www.webcomicsnation.com/uvernon/littlecreature/series.php?view=current. Go and fall in love so that someday there will be enough of us wanting to buy a printed copy that she can get this published. ;)



I'm assuming you've all seen Serenity by now. If you haven't, what's keeping you? Grab your family, friends, coworkers, strangers on the street... grab someone and go! If you've seen it, go see it again! It's great entertainment and it tells a story that matters about characters we can care about. We need more movies like this, and if we want Universal to oblige us with a sequel to this movie, I'm afraid we need to do more to raise its numbers at the box office. DVD sales should be strong, but I don't know if that's enough to justify a sequel.

Ok, back to packing now. Boy will I be happy when this move is over!


If you have cats and you don't know how to recognize a feline asthma attack, you should check out http://www.fritzthebrave.com/. Under Overview, click on Symptoms and then watch the video of Fritz having a coughing attack.

Poor Jessie has been having asthma attacks for more than a year now, and I just thought she was having hairball problems. We now have an Albuterol inhaler on hand for when she has an attack (it's expensive, but you can get it at almost any pharmacy), an Azmacort inhaler to help relieve the inflammation, and Chlor-Trimeton tablets to help control her allergy symptoms. She is not happy about the pills or inhalers, but her appetite is back and she is definitely perkier. Also, after gifting our vet with a box of chocolates, I now have her email address and have been emailing back and forth with her evenings and weekends. That makes me feel more secure.


Neil Gaiman's Short Film About John Bolton

Both hiking and the game were called off today because other people are sick, but last night at least, things went according to plan. I had a relaxing evening watching this short film that Neil Gaiman wrote and directed, with Jessie purring in my lap for a while and then curling up next to me to sleep (she has more sense about such things than I do--I was up much later than I should have been watching the special features).

I will avoid the temptation to tell you more about the film because it may be more enjoyable if you don't know anything about it. It's available through Netflix and for sale on Amazon. I enjoyed it enough that I'll probably purchase a copy; if you're willing to wait a while, you can borrow it from me. I thought the film itself was only moderately amusing--worth watching, but I wouldn't buy the DVD for the short alone. The special features, however, were WONDERFUL.

Watching Neil's live performance at the Aladdin down in Portland reminded me that I really ought to track down the CDs of him reading his stories and radioplays (I believe there are several). And of course there is MirrorMask to look forward to (a full-length movie written by Neil, directed by Dave McKean, and produced by the Jim Henson Company), and Neil may actually be directing a movie version of Death: The High Cost of Living (he finished the script earlier this year). On a related note, perhaps someday Terry Gilliam will get back to Good Omens, but I don't know if either of those last two projects are going to make it to production (Good Omens in particular has had trouble getting funding, and after the Don Quixote fiasco, Gilliam may have lost too much momentum to be able to make it happen--let's hope that Tideland and The Brothers Grimm do well).

And I suspect I'm babbling, so I'm going to go fix some food and continue my relaxing weekend.


Technicolor Morning

I woke in a happy, mellow mood today, despite getting nowhere nearly enough sleep. I had a happy, sleepy bus ride to work. Everything was incredibly beautiful--the sunlight dancing through the trees, greenery everywhere I looked, a bluejay, flowers--everything in such vivid colors... I wondered if perhaps some puckish creature had slipped something into my juice this morning.

I maintained a cheerful attitude all morning, despite my constantly changing work schedule, but by early afternoon, the stress and lack of sleep caught up with me and I crashed. Editing suddenly became a tremendous effort; I was tired and achy and wanted to be anywhere but at work. I still managed to maintain a pleasant demeanor, but my internal landscape was quite different. It was definitely a monochrome afternoon. I managed to work an hour later than usual, then gave up and dragged myself out to catch my bus. I have a lot more work to do, but most of it can wait until later this weekend. Tonight I'll try to catch up on rest, then tomorrow I'll be hiking during the day and hopefully gaming in the evening.

At least Jessie seems to be doing well. I foresee an evening cuddled up in bed, watching the Neil Gaiman movie I just received from Netflix with my kitty purring in my lap. Life is good.



People sometimes wonder whether LaffingKat really has a sense of humor, or what might tickle her fancy. Well, here’s a perfect example—this has got to be the funniest thing I have seen in a long time:
Philotypes by Tom Radcliffe

Happy Thanksgiving y’all! ;)


I've adopted!

Actually, this news is a few weeks old, but I haven't felt like spending much time at the computer lately. Still, like any proud parent, I can't resist sharing pictures and hopefully calling some attention to a very worthwhile organization.

While on vacation with friends from VT earlier this month, we visited Wolf Haven International. During the tour, I felt very drawn to one particular wolf, Teka. Back at the gift shop, I couldn't resist adopting her. There's another photo here, and a few more scattered around the site.

I feel like Teka is something of a kindred spirit, and I'm happy to be contributing to her care. Someday I'd like to return to doing wildlife rehabilitation, but until then, I'll help out the folks who are doing the real work in any way I can.

Eudaemonia (or How to Flourish)

"Everything has been figured out, except how to live."
- Jean-Paul Sartre

I'm generally not the type to forward the latest piece of feel-good fluff, and I know that some of my friends have been wondering about my previous post. I thought for a couple days before posting that parable. It came to me in an email at a time when I had been thinking about my philosophy and my relationships with others, and I thought it tied in rather nicely. Read more...Collapse )

A sweet summer parable

There was a farmer who grew award-winning corn. Each year he
entered his corn in the state fair where it won a blue ribbon.
One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned
something interesting about how he grew it.

The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn
with his neighbors. "How can you afford to share your best
seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in
competition with yours each year?" the reporter asked.

"Why sir," said the farmer, "didn't you know? The wind picks
up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to
field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination
will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow
good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn."

He is very much aware of the connectedness of life. His corn
cannot improve unless his neighbor's corn also improves.

So it is in other dimensions. Those who choose to be at peace
must help their neighbors to be at peace. Those who choose to
live well must help others to live well, for the value of a
life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose
to be happy must help others to find happiness, for the welfare
of each is bound up with the welfare of all.

Author Unknown

First commercial manned space flight

Finally! I've been waiting for this for years...

The privately funded rocket plane SpaceShipOne reached an altitude of 62.2 miles above the earth. SpaceShipOne was designed by aerospace designer Burt Rutan and built with more than $20 million in funding by billionaire Paul Allen. Rutan and Allen plan to have future flights in spacecraft based on SpaceShipOne's design be able to take at least six passengers to 93 miles above the earth.

I generally believe that anything a government can do, private entities can do better. I also suspect that we're going to be in big trouble if we don't start moving off this rock. So, I take this as a very good sign. :)

Welcome to LaffingKat's Lair

That was to be the name of my website, which I made a few half-hearted attempts to create, oh probably about 5 years ago. Now I have finally gotten around to signing on to LJ. Mind you, I won't promise to post often. But now the possibility exists, and I do love possibilities. Something about cats and open doors. ;)