evil_plotbunny: (Default)
Have you written? Are you writing? You've got about 2.5 days to go till deadline. If you don't think you'll make it, I'd appreciate it if you defaulted soon so that I can find someone else to write for your recipient.

I've got more pinch hits to post to the mailing list after I've had breakfast. You can sign up for the pinch hit email list here. Due to the rapidly approaching deadline, if these haven't been claimed by lunchtime (assume approximately a 3 hour window), I'll be posting them here and probably on the yuletide comm. Deadline for these pinch hits will be the same as for assignments. Any pinch hits that come up later in the weekend may have a later due date.

One other bit of housekeeping...since the exchange is so small this year, I'm not going to bother opening a separate collection for treats. Please post any treats in the main collection.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Iiiiiiii.... kind of totally forgot to make "stuff done" posts for the past week and a half? Hmm. I am still keeping up my to-do lists (though obviously not getting everything on them done every day), but I think perhaps if I keep stalling out on posting them, that part of the project is now doing more harm than good, so.

To summarize, over the past week and a half, I did some intake/sorting/setup for my church's annual garage sale (which runs this weekend, Saturday-Monday). I also acquired a set of four white wine glasses (which are actually pink -- "white" in this case refers to the shape/style rather than the actual glass color) for my parents and put an IOU into the box since I made off with them before the actual sale. The glasses, btw, are now safely in NJ at my parents' house.

I acquired a temporary dog. :D

I bought a replacement pair of slippers and a new pair of black not-quite-dress shoes for work. (I have had the damndest time finding black shoes that both look good and have enough support that they don't murder my feet if I walk a mile. Apparently nobody in the shoe manufacturing industry thinks women are going to regularly walk a mile in office work shoes? This is very short-sighted, in my opinion.)

I think my squash are dying. I am not sure if it's just the powdery mildew, or that plus some other thing, but they are all in extremely bad shape. I may just cut my losses, uproot them all, and start over with eight new seeds. I mean, I still have a solid two months of reasonable weather. It's worth a shot.

...I'll decide on Monday, I guess.

All nineteen of the peppers are fine, incidentally! Whatever attacked the squash has completely passed them over.

I posted my WIP Big Bang fic, but because of reasons, it is still not as edited as I wanted it to be, so I think I'll hold off on actually doing a link/advertising post here until I get it fixed up a little more. *sigh*

I am starting to think it really might be a good idea to look into getting back on antidepressants, because this general malaise, while not what I think of as "real" depression, has lasted for far too long and has been seriously affecting my quality of life for going on two years now. I find it hard to work up enthusiasm/energy for things I KNOW I like, and I have been letting far too many brickspace life tasks slide because I just can't pull myself together to deal with them.

Of course, figuring out how to get an antidepressant prescription is exactly the kind of brickspace task that currently feels impossible, because depression is evil like that. *deeper sigh*

Mnrgh.

On the brighter side, I have a pretty solid idea for my remix, and some halfway-solid ideas for my NFE fic, so hopefully I will be able to get enough sleep to sort of bootstrap myself into functionality for the next couple weeks and get them written by their respective deadlines. *crosses fingers and lights a candle for good measure*
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Greetings from New Jersey!

I drove down from Ithaca this afternoon in order to kidnap my parents' dog, mwahahahaha!!!

Or, in less dramatic terms, to pick up Dottie so she won't have to spend the next two-plus weeks in a kennel while Mom and Dad are off gallivanting around Norway. (Dad is giving a paper at the 11th International Conference on the History of Chemistry in Trondheim -- his conference papers are often their nominal excuse for trips to interesting places -- but they will spend most of their time on general tourism stuff.)

We went out to dinner at Charlie Brown's, I have washed a bunch of laundry, and tomorrow I will head back north through A) rain, B) far too much roadwork, and C) god only knows how many families flooding into Ithaca to drop their kids off at Cornell for the start of classes on Monday the 21st.

And then I will have a temporary dog. Yay dog! :D

(no subject)

Aug. 16th, 2017 05:42 pm[personal profile] skygiants
skygiants: the princes from Into the Woods, singing (agony)
It's hard for me not to unfavorably compare every Isabelle Hollington Gothic to Trelawny, the one with the identical non-identical constantly-swapping twins, but The Marchington Inheritance runs a reasonable second for batshit plot resolutions.

Our Heroine is a children's book illustrator named Avril, which would be fine if she were not ALSO notable for her family reputation as a Strung-Out Sulky Counter-Culture Fight-The-Power Teen Rebel with constant Rage Against the Preppy machine, which meant that I had "Complicated" and "Sk8er Boi" stuck on rotate in my head for the entire duration of this novel. THANKS, ISABELLE HOLLAND.

spoilers are full of hilariously plausibly annoying children )

(no subject)

Aug. 12th, 2017 05:51 pm[personal profile] skygiants
skygiants: Clopin from Notre-Dame de Paris; text 'sans misere, sans frontiere' (comment faire un monde)
I just finished Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad, which is definite proof that a book-length allegory CAN ALSO be a coherent and compelling novel. (Is this a Kazuo Ishiguro callout post? MAYBE.)

The easiest and most facile way to describe The Underground Railroad is basically like Underground the TV show meets Snowpiercer. I mean, significantly less silly than Snowpiercer, which is a deeply silly movie -- but insofar as it's a train-based road trip for your life in which every stop is an Allegory On the Evils of Class and Capitalism, like that, except in this case it's an allegory on America's original sins.

The book's heroine is Cora, a woman who escapes from a deep-South plantation on an enormous hidden network of rails and tunnels, gaining and losing allies along the way. Each time she gets off she thinks that maybe she's found a place where she can stop and live a human life, and each place she visits reflects a different knife-angle of the generally horrific history of race in America -- alternate histories, but real ones.

Allegory aside, Cora is very much a real and complex and compelling character, and the places she visits have heft to them. Cora's identity is bound up in the legend and mystery of her mother Mabel, the one slave in the plantation's history (before Cora) who was able to escape and vanish completely; she's a real person, too, and so are all the other perspectives that we glimpse briefly in interstitial interludes along Cora's journey. It's a really good book. It's a very page-turning book, and although it's (obviously) extremely grim at times, it's not actually a hopeless book.

(no subject)

Aug. 10th, 2017 08:49 pm[personal profile] skygiants
skygiants: Yong Ha from Sungkyunkwan Scandal (trollface)
To be honest, I didn't really expect to love the kdrama Descendants of the Sun, a romantic melodrama about a special forces soldier and an ER surgeon. I'm skeptical about romanticizing the military! Contemporary melodrama is not my thing! Probably there were going to be too many dudes all over the place everywhere anyway!

OH, HOW WRONG I WAS. Descendants of the Sun is a GEM.

Screencaps cannot capture the majesty )

(no subject)

Aug. 9th, 2017 09:57 pm[personal profile] skygiants
skygiants: Kyoko from Skip Beat! making a mad flaily dive (oh flaily flaily)
I enjoyed Martha Wells' Wheel of the Infinite but I am also pretty sure that my reading experience was devised in exactly the wrong way to allow me to appreciate the plot as a coherent narrative.

I read the first half of the book on the plane between San Francisco and Chicago, which meant I got all the fantastic initial setup: a long-suffering middle-aged heroine, exiled from her home city for accidentally getting three husbands killed while following the wrong prophetic vision, accidentally rescues a cute swordsman in a brief break from protecting a plucky theater troupe from a cursed stage puppet!

Then the cute young swordsman immediately decides to be her joint boyfriend and bodyguard because he has nothing else to do with his life, and she's like "he followed me home, can I keep him? ...wait I'm an exiled superpowered divine avatar, I literally don't have to ask anyone else, I CAN JUST KEEP HIM :D" and then he and she and the theater troupe all go back to her home city to sort out a potentially apocalyptic problem in the annual setting-the-world-in-order religious ritual and also, very importantly, get the theater puppet un-cursed, and at about this point I got to Chicago and although I was enjoying myself immensely I didn't really have time to read another word until I was on a flight back to Boston.

So at this point I opened my Kobo again and spoilers! )
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I got a review today on one of my rare porn fics saying it was "cute, albeit fetishy."

...

It's an explicit kinkmeme prompt fill. It was clearly tagged as such. I really don't know what else they were expecting.

Innumerable Stars Letter 2017

Aug. 8th, 2017 08:43 pm[personal profile] zdenka
zdenka: The Doors of Khazad-dum. (tolkien)
I apologize if I don't finish this letter before assignments go out, and I'll add any missing prompts as soon as possible.

This letter might be easier to read if you click on my journal or one of the entry tags, so that the cut-tags work.


Dear Artist or Author,

Thank you so much for making art or writing for me! I'm happy that we share a love for these fandoms and characters. I mean the prompts as suggestions only, in case it's helpful to have a starting point (and it’s fine to make art from my fic prompts or fic from my art prompts). If they don't work for you or if you have an idea you like better, then feel free to go with what inspires you. I don’t want this to be stressful, and I’m sure I will love what you make.

Read more... )

Crossover Fandom [fanart, fanfic]

Group: Celebrimbor (Silm) & Nazgûl (LOTR book)
group: Goldberry (LotR)/Haleth (Silm)

Read more... )

The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien [fanfic]

Beorn
Group: Beorn & Radagast
Group: Dís & Thorin
Group: Dís & Thráin
Roäc

Read more... )

The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún - J. R. R. Tolkien [fanart, fanfic]

Read more... )

The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien [fanart, fanfic]

Éowyn
Faramir
Galadriel
Goldberry
Group: Aragorn & Finduilas
Group: Boromir & Elrond
Group: Boromir & Faramir
Group: Denethor & Denethor's Sisters
Group: Denethor/Finduilas of Dol Amroth
Group: Denethor/Finduilas of Dol Amroth & Boromir & Faramir
Group: Elrond & Faramir
Group: Éowyn & Éomer & Éomund & Théodwyn
Group: Éowyn & Éomer & Théodred
Group: Éowyn & Original Female Rohirrim
Group: Faramir/Éowyn
Group: Galadriel & Goldberry
Group: Nazgûl & Sauron
Witch-King of Angmar

Read more... )


The Silmarillion and other histories of Middle-Earth - J. R. R. Tolkien [fanart, fanfic]

Emeldir
Finrod Felagund
Group: Celebrimbor/Maeglin
group: Celebrimbor & Narvi
Group: Celebrimbor/Narvi
Group: Celebrimbor & Nerdanel
Group: Celebrimbor & Orodreth
Group: Curufin & Finrod
Group: Elendil & Elrond
Group: Fingon & Maeglin
Group: Finrod & Haleth
Group: Finrod & his faithful ten
Group: Maedhros & Azaghâl
Gurthang
Haleth
Huan
Isildur's Wife
Nienna
Rían of the House of Bëor
Rog

Read more... )

(no subject)

Aug. 7th, 2017 10:55 pm[personal profile] skygiants
skygiants: Nellie Bly walking a tightrope among the stars (bravely trotted)
Despite its incredibly bland title, Into the Darkness turned out to be one of the most interesting Barbara Michaels gothics I've yet read.

This is one of the ones where Barbara Michaels decides to break the "girl meets house" mold and go instead with "girl meets career." Our Heroine Meg Venturi, called back to her hometown for her grandfather's funeral, finds that he's left her half of the family jewelry business; the other half has (of course) been left to his dark and brooding protege, whom half the town is convinced murdered Meg's grandfather and the other half the town thinks was probably just blackmailing him.

Obviously, this is Bachelor A. Bachelor B is Meg's annoying fake cousin (there's always a cousin in there somewhere), Bachelor C is the boring lawyer who keeps trying to mansplain Meg's inheritance to her, and Bachelor D is the married businessman that Meg has been having an affair with but who rapidly becomes irrelevant to the plot.

Meanwhile, Meg's grandmother keeps cheerfully sharing conversations that she had overnight with the ghost of Meg's dead grandfather, the housekeeper will not stop pretending to be Mrs. Danvers, someone keeps mailing threatening antique jewelry to the house, there's another pile of probably-stolen and certainly-priceless antique jewelry hidden in the back of Meg's closet, and every so often there will be a murder attempt. Throughout it all, Meg comes to two realizations: a.) she really, genuinely loves the jewelry business and b.) she is really, genuinely sick of Various Bachelors treating her like a Gothic ingenue.

Spoilers under the cut )
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Called Vicky Saturday evening and talked about various things for a hour or two.

2. Changed linens.

3. Bought Susan's birthday present. I started by going to the Farmer's Market down at Steamboat Landing, but they didn't have anything that really jumped out at me. So I drove up the west shore of the lake to American Winery and bought her three types of specialty fudge. I am mostly neutral on Americana's wines -- a few each year are pretty good, most are okay, a few are emphatically not to my taste -- but I have never yet disliked any of their fudge varieties, so. I got her Maple Bacon Chocolate, Amaretto Chocolate Swirl, and Dark Chocolate Covered Cherry. :)

more items under the cut )

21. Susan's birthday celebration! We met at the G family house around 7pm, where Cat and I admired Susan's kitten (Abbie, a gray tabby with white socks and a bit of tan around her ankles) and Susan opened our gifts.

Then we went to Yuki Hana, a local sushi place, for dinner. We got three items to share: unagi don, orange dragon rolls, and ume-shiso rolls; before the main course, Susan and I each had miso soup and Cat had the complimentary salad that came with the unagi don. We declined desert, but received a plate with three watermelon slices apparently just because, which was unexpected but tasty. I had to preemptively take a Benadryl because of raw avocado and cucumber, but it was totally worth it. :)

After dinner, we returned to the G family house and chatted for a while before Susan suggested we try some of the fudge I'd gotten her. Rev. and Mrs. G were invited to join in, and the general consensus was that fudge is good. (This is not a terribly controversial conclusion, I feel. *wry*) We enlisted Rev. G to take pictures of the three of us before Cat had to bail (since she needed to get some sleep before driving to Pennsic on Monday), and I am very glad we were able to get together like that. :D

22. Finished the beta draft of "Intervention" (my WIP Big Bang fic) and sent it to beta. \o/

23. Drove back to Ithaca. I should mention at this point that on both the drive down and the drive up, I was listening to a lecture series on tape: The Barbarian Empires of the Steppes, by Prof. Kenneth W. Harl of Tulane, which is part of the Great Courses series. There are 36 lectures in total, two per CD, and I have gotten through 17 of them. (I started on lecture 3, since Mom and I listened to some of them on a previous car trip and while I couldn't remember exactly where we left off, I knew it was past the first CD.)

I don't know why I never tried listening to nonfiction audiobooks or audio lectures on car trips before. (I specify nonfiction because I find fiction audiobooks intensely distracting; the voices never quite match what's in my head, and also the pacing tends to be indefinably wrong.) But listening to lectures while driving uses one problem to solve another in the most beautiful way. First, the lectures help me stay alert and focused on the road in a way that I otherwise find difficult -- caffeine is not infallible, and music gets samey after a while -- because I have to be paying attention to what the lecturer is saying, and relating it to previous lectures and my own general understanding of world history. Second, driving is a visual/kinesthetic task that eats up enough of my concentration that I actually CAN pay attention to the audio input, which is something I otherwise find nearly impossible and have had to resort to sewing projects or coloring books in order to listen to occasional podcasts that I decided were important enough to make the effort.

Anyway, I think I can get at least one more round trip to NJ and back out of this lecture series -- and then probably down to NJ again -- but after that I need to look into my local library's audio offerings, because I didn't get drifty even once on this trip, and I promise you it's not because I'd gotten any more sleep than usual. *wry*

...

And that is that, and I really have to remember to make these posts more often because covering ten days at once is ridiculous.

(no subject)

Aug. 6th, 2017 11:40 pm[personal profile] skygiants
skygiants: pearl from SU, looking suspiciously down the length of a sword (terrifying renegade pearl)
Over the past two weeks I have gone straight from a professional conference to a wedding to VividCon, lugged my roommate's oversized suitcase across four cities, hung out with innumerable incredibly delightful people, seen an equally large number of really stellar vids, visited at least six used bookstores and bought at least ten Gothic novels.

Now I am home and exhausted, so I'm just going to leave my rushed but heartfelt VividCon premiere here and go to bed:

Title: Clean Light (music by The Mowgli's)



Download

(with thanks to [personal profile] aquamirage for valuable early feedback!)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I didn't have as much free time at work as I'd hoped (and then I had to drive down to NJ, so there went my evening), but "Intervention" is now at 22,100 words total, with 525 words left to bash into shape.

I will finish the damn edits tomorrow, OR ELSE. *resolve face*

...But for right now, I'm going to take the first load of laundry out of my parents' dryer and then crash into bed, because it's been a long day and I am exhausted.
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