Dec. 24th, 2011 01:58 pm
thessalian: (writing)
Happy Christmas Eve to y'all!

So last night, I posted a bit of quasi-seasonal DA fic and mentioned at the bottom of the entry that I needed an AO3 account. I went to sign up for the beta and it told me that I could probably have an account in early January.

But then [livejournal.com profile] mitchy, probably in an attempt to hide from my DA fandom (which is entirely her fault, lest we forget *g*), sent me an invite bare hours later.

And then this afternoon (morning for her), [personal profile] ilyena_sylph sent me an invite too! My friends are awesome!

All this to say that now I have an AO3 account! My Christmas Eve is going to be spent archiving some of my longer fics, and maybe compiling some of my headcanon ficlets into single vignette stories, and possibly writing more and finishing old projects and...

Crap. CRAP. I somehow went back to fanfic. DAMNIT, DA FANDOM, STOP BEING AWESOME.

Oh well. At least it's not FF.net.
thessalian: (writing)
Hey, look! It's a post where I'm not bitching about work! (Then again, I've only been here an hour.) Nor am I going to bitch about the state of my health (no, I am not feeling better. I am resigned to the blech because the doctors don't give a flying monkey). No, instead I am going to bitch about something completely different! Rejoice!

Seriously, I'm having a thing at the moment of the "I don't know what's wrong with me" variety in terms of the writing. Basically in that I have not actually been doing it lately. Well, okay, fanfic, but you know what I mean. I have words, I have characters, I even have story ... but I guess what I don't have is confidence. I just feel like an utter mediocrity, nothing comes out as well as I want it to, I can never come up with a better way to put it so that it will come out as well as I want it to and in the end, by the time I actually have writing time, I'm too tired or apathetic or just plain flattened to bother. It's different with fanfic; there's already an investment there. It seems easier to get invested in something that has inspired me - a thing with an existing structure - than it is to build a structure to inspire myself and then get invested in that. If that makes any sense.

I mean, it's not as if there's anything wrong with writing fanfic. It's just that I always harboured dreams of being paid for writing fiction and I get further and further from that every day. At least part of it's a confidence issue, I suppose; it's not like I actually do anything sensible like write things and let other people read them very often, or try to submit anything anywhere, or even write original stuff much. And without external input, it's a little hard to have confidence in much ... at least if you're like me and generally your own worst critic. Having been in a gently deepening depressive funk for the last few months probably doesn't help, either. And having been sick the last three weeks probably makes it even worse.

But in the end, at least part of it's to do with the fact that ... well, I am not all that, writer-wise. My style has a certain appeal, but not a particularly wide-ranging one. I have no poetry. I have a very good ear for dialogue but a very bare-bones look at descriptive narrative. It doesn't help that I don't actually like flowery, poetic prose very often. I am probably the textbook definition of 'prosaic' in that regard; give me enough description to draw me a picture that I can colour in with my own imagination, give me characters that I can believe in, and above all, give me what happened, and I'm happy. Make me wade through a ball pit of beautiful translucent soap-bubble prose to get to the bits of the story I want, and I will inevitably grow bored and skip over the painstakingly poetic narrative until I find the plot. I'm not saying that all poetic narrative is bad, by the way. It's just not what I like. And because I don't appreciate it and don't believe in it, I can't write it. Maybe I have a skewed view of the sort of fiction I write in terms of what sells, but a lot of the success stories I've been hearing come from those who use words like a paintbrush, whereas I tend to use mine like a camera. Both are art forms, but a camera shows you what's there through the eye of the person taking the picture, whereas a paintbrush can show you anything and relies on texture and style as much as lighting and angle and colour or lack thereof.

Of course, a lot of this could just be the mood talking. It's a little hard not to be self-defeatist in my current situation. There's the job thing, about which I have bitched at length. I don't get out much and I don't talk to enough people, which in and of itself is a vicious cycle - I don't talk to people, thus I get lonely and depressed and no fit company for anyone, thus I talk to people even less and so on and so on. There's getting the brush-off from disinterested medical personnel to whom I turn for help, which is to the self-esteem what a round of buckshot is to a balloon animal. However much I try to make with the seasonal festivities on my own, the fact is that I'm not entirely looking forward to a Christmas on my own as anything but a two-day reprieve from the job. I'm tired, I'm sick, I'm stressed and I am struggling to find things I'm looking forward to. If I want optimism, I have to make it myself, and finding the energy to do so is hard.

Also, I cannot find my cellphone or my iPod. I thought they might have fallen out of my handbag at the office, but no luck. The only other option is that they fell out of my handbag at the cafe were I had lunch yesterday. If so, I can only hope that the people at the next table handed them in to the waitresses, or that the waitress found them, and that they're sitting behind the counter waiting for me when I pop in at lunchtime today to ask about it. If not ... well, shit. The commute is miserable without my music and that phone, while cheap as all hell, is brand fucking new, and I don't want to have to pass out yet another number change.

Fuck it. I don't like being all blue and miserable and depressed. I am going to get some work done, have another cup of coffee and think story. Maybe it'll be fanfic, maybe not. Maybe no one will give a shit about it, but I will. Maybe I will never make money from the writing, but if I find the enjoyment in it again, that won't matter. I am going to drag myself out of this mood, damnit! Though I'll admit that it'd be a lot easier to do so if I could just be less sick. But the lurgy will pass eventually, I'm sure, even if I do get the brush-off by senior nurse specialists at the walk-in clinic and have to slog through it the hard way.

This too shall pass. I will keep telling myself that until it does.
thessalian: (writing)
I am all alone in the office this afternoon. Everyone has gone home early, or had the day off, or worked from home or something. I don't know what the girls downstairs are doing, but it's peaceful, just me. And at least someone gave me the key code for the office door up here, so if I have to leave the office, I don't have to worry about leaving the door open. Apparently, we don't do that when the office is empty. Which makes a certain amount of good sense. (It still doesn't justify the fact that the other float still forgets to lock down her computer before she leaves her desk despite my having shown her how, mind you. I'm going to have to remind her. I think I'll maintain a three-strikes-and-you're-out policy there; I've told her, and she gets two reminders before I report her.)

I wonder if anyone would mind if I borrowed someone else's desk for the next couple of hours. See, there's one minor problem with my current office space; it faces a window. A west-facing window. And the blinds are missing a few slats so it does not block out the sun. Everyone knows I'm pretty prone to migraines, right? Well, imagine how it feels to spend from about 2pm 'til sundown getting comprehensively blinded by the sun shining right in my face with no hope of blocking it out. Right now I'm managing by adjusting how I sit so that the slats that are actually in the blinds are blocking the sun from my direct line of sight (mostly) but that's just doing in my left shoulder. I'd shift my computer but there's no actual room to do so, because 'my' desk is actually storage space for I don't know what-all rubbish from the IT department. Gods almighty, I hate this place sometimes.

In other news, I participated in the Secret Swooper deal for the [livejournal.com profile] swooping_is_bad LJ community; basically it's Secret Santa for DA fanworks, or Yuletide with a specific fandom. I wrote a piece of Anders-centric fic that I'm actually fairly proud of (I may post it later, but I want to wait until the person I'm Secret Swooping for sees it; it's their present) and I got the loveliest bit of fanart. But of course, my working on this kind of thing shows how much of a dork I can sometimes actually be, because as per usual with this kind of thing, I planned so many bits and pieces of fanwork (a fanmix, a couple of pieces of fic that are half-written already, stuff like that) and then just hit on this idea and bashed it out in an hour and a half and posted that rather than agonise over it anymore. So this whole thing actually just generated way more fan-stuff than just the one gift-piece. Is that what these things are supposed to do? I've never done anything like this before, so the fact that I accomplished it at all is pretty stunning. Maybe I'll actually try Yuletide next year.

Or maybe someone should hit me in the face with a shovel before I fic again.

Aaaaaaaanyway. Yes, I'm goofing off. I'm alone in the office, I've worked my arse off all week and the weekend's coming up in not very long at all. I think I'm entitled to a little bit of goofing. I still do more work than the girls downstairs. This weekend is going to be more or less chores, too - grocery shopping, laundry, stuff like that. I may buy a tiny artificial Christmas tree if I can clean off enough shelf space to put the sodding thing, and there are at least a couple of Christmas gifts I should likely pick up, though I imagine most will be purchased online. (Not that there are that many to begin with.) So ... busy busy. You know how it goes.

Right. Now to Google gingerbread recipes. Also, type letters.
thessalian: (Default)
So I've been quiet for awhile, beyond the occasional rant. It's probably about time to rant about work, and why I need a new job, like, yesterday.

My co-admin was supposed to be leaving for greener pastures in September; something about having a job offer for something more in his skill set with a delayed start date. September came and went ... and there he was, still. Something about how he suddenly didn't have a start date anymore, but mentioned something November. Then January. It seems that the plan is that he's going to stick around until such time as they give him a date. Which, given how much they keep pushing it back, is going to be about half past never.

Senior management has always had a view to turning this particular admin job into a one-secretary operation. That secretary was supposed to be me, but since I'm still sort of in this 'float secretary' twilight zone and he's the 'official' secretary, and he's sticking around ... well, there have been reshuffles. I still have a job, but it is killing me by inches. See, I've been moved into a new department and the person whose long-term sick leave I'm covering for the moment left a complete unholy mess. I keep getting phone calls about appointments that should have been made months ago but weren't, letters that should have been typed but haven't been (the backlog went back to late August, pity's sake; I've spent the week whittling it down to mid-October and we might - might be into November by day's end), and messages that should have been passed on but clearly weren't, since nothing ever got done and the patient heard nothing back. So I get yelled at by patients a lot, particularly since IT has ballsed up my system access with the move and I can't actually make the appointments, and Central Bookings is staffed by baboons.

And then there are the people I share my current office space with. Look, I don't mind office chatter; I never have. Well, not usually. But when it's loud and I'm trying to type a clinic letter for a registrar who won't speak above a Scottish-accented mutter and trying to puzzle out medical terminology out of the mush over the noise, it doesn't help. Neither does the blaring of Heart 106.2 in the background; I like background music but I think one of the girls in the office is partly deaf, because it's right by her ear and she still cranks it. Plus I have discovered over the last week that these women are the sort who are perfectly happy to have Demi's divorce on the front page of the paper and yet bitch about celebrity culture. I can't help listening because it is too damn loud, and it all makes me want to throttle people.

(Also, if you want the window that is right by my left arm open, ask me if I mind before you do it. Do not lean over me, open the window and wander off. Particularly not when I told you just yesterday that sitting in a blast of cold air knots my muscles to the point of agony. ARGH.)

I've been in early and out late with minimal lunch for the last week. This looks set to continue in future. I need OUT. OUUUUUUUT.

But, yes, as [livejournal.com profile] mitchy points out, there are a few little cheery things, like late lunch at Belgos tomorrow. (Though I thought we were doing dinner? Eh, food and good company, and I can still lie in until at least midday.) Also slaughtering things in DA2; I'm doing the Rogue playthrough again because it's fun, in a "Waitaminit; the battle just started, where did all the enemies go? Oh, they're corpses on the floor already" sort of way. It's also at least in part research; I have this plot nug and it's turning into the longest fanfic I've written in over ten years and the longest DA fic I've written ... well, ever. It's turning into chapters and that is kind of scary and I don't really know about showing it to anyone, ever but DAMNIT, I AM GOING TO TRACK DOWN THAT UNHOLY PLOT NUG AND I WILL SLAY IT LIKE IT WAS AN ARCHDEMON!

*ahem* Right. Back to work. But fuck it, sometimes I just need a damn break and I can't hear my current clinic tape over my desk-neighbour singing along with the atrocious pop on the radio anyway. When this song is over, I can probably actually get shit done...
thessalian: (facepalm)
With apologies to [personal profile] tempus_teapot for stealing her idea of condensing her Tuesday plot nug drabble stuff into one post on a ... well, Thursday, now. But if I'm going to write fic, I may as well start owning up to it again. Plus it's easier to keep track of what I've written that way than it is to randomly tack them into my Memories and dig them out of the comments (though I do that too, if only to remind myself what went where when and it's always fun to reread other people's stuff too).

Surprise Party )

Piles of Paperwork )

Say Anything )

In other news, slept badly, still lurgified, and am getting horrified over on Tumblr about the whole deal about The Mists of Pandaria. If they're going to give us a playable race of Kung-Fu Pandas, they could at least try to throw a spin on it somewhere. Tauren have Mulgore, Worgen have Gilneas, and Pandarens have ... Pandaria. And there are to be pet battles. I subscribed to Warcraft, not Pokemon. *sigh* The expansions have gone "Azeroth -> beating back demons in Outland -> beating back the pissed-off undead in Northrend -> beating back a pain-maddened warder of the earth itself with the entire world cracking under one's feet -> ...pandas and pokeballs", so maybe I shouldn't be surprised this is a letdown.

Now, lemme just crawl back under my duvet and die for a couple of days.
thessalian: (facepalm)
I'm on Tumblr now. Damn you, [livejournal.com profile] fay. DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL.

*ahem* Yeah, so I'm Thessalian on there, same as everywhere else. Follow if you wanna.

Beyond that ... lurgified. So very lurgified. Mostly this manifests in exhaustion but I refuse to sleep more than I already have because I have no desire to screw over my sleeping patterns more than they are usually. I ... kind of broke this resolution earlier when I decided to lie down with a book and some Criminal Minds as background noise and woke up three hours later with "Men at Arms" pressing my glasses into my face. Which is why I'm up and at the computer now; at least this way I'm unlikely to find myself wide awake at 1am because I slept through the entire damn day.

Not sure what to do with myself at the moment, though. Mostly now I'm just dicking around on Tumblr and Livejournal while hoping my lunch stays down. Though I find myself writing fanfic again - random acts of DA prompt filling right now, but I have to admit that getting even this peripherally involved in a fandom again is unnerving. After the whole Daria fandom BNF fiasco, I don't really want to get into that mess again. Then again, this seems a lot different, particularly in terms of community structure, so maybe I can actually just write and have a good time in this one. That'd be kind of nice. Plus it's good to unlimber the writing muscles again, as it were; it's been too long, what with one thing and another.

Blegh. If this sick feeling doesn't go away by MCM this weekend, I'm going to be intensely pissed off. Just saying. Though with the state of my health lately, I sometimes really do feel, in the words of Bill Hicks, like a virus with shoes. Or fuzzy slippers just now, but same basic thing.
thessalian: (Yay)
My internet at home works again! Seems to be going pretty well, too, though I'm not jinxing anything by talking about definite improvement until I've been through a few nights without a connection drop. Or ... well, maybe I can talk about it if I get through a few nights without multiple connection drops. I'm not asking for very much, I don't think - just a solid week where I don't have to spend half the night glaring at my router until the little lights stop blinking and give me my internet back, and where I don't have to glance at said router routinely the minute a site hangs, all grumbling paranoia about whether all of the little lights are on. I pay enough for it, you'd think I could get my internet fairly regular. Yeesh.

So it's Friday. Yay Friday! Particularly given the fact that my breakneck pace of the last few days has seriously paid off. The typing? Is gone. Cleared out. Done. Entirely. I've got a few letters that have been checked and signed that I need to print off and send, but mostly ... it's looking like today is going to be fairly relaxed. I think it helps that one of the consultants is away on leave this week ... but then, he's only one of three, and never mind the half-dozen nurse specialists, registrars, honorary clinical assistants and whoever else I work for. And OtherAdmin is away. Still no clue about what's going on with Schrodinger's Admin, but I think I've sorted out an awful lot of her mess. Though let me tell you, there was a lot of mess to sort. So to summarise the summary, today is a day I can more or less coast through and I think OtherAdmin is going to be pleased with what he finds when he comes back. No terribly urgent messages, no big backlog of typing and overall ... this is the way an office is supposed to be. Now I just wonder if it'll last.

I also wonder if the usurping psychologist who keeps needing me to log her into the system is ever going to remember to log off when she leaves for the day. Seriously, if there's a security violation because she left everything logged in and ready to poke around in, it's my arse on the line, not hers.

I've actually started putting fingers to keyboard on fiction again. Fine, it's DA2 fic and it's nowhere near done and I'm not sure where it's going so it may just end up a dead end, but ... baby steps. I've been looking over Access Mundi for the last couple of weeks but have just not had the energy or the inspiration to write much. That may be changing, though, so ... well, at least I'll have the satisfaction of having finished it, whatever else happens.

So ... LJ is more or less back, from the looks of it. Sort of. Kind of. Maybe. Apparently the Russian government is partially to blame. Well, yay for Dreamwidth and cross-posty goodness, say I. Particularly now that I've actually been bothered to change my crossposting settings to reflect that I am crossposting. (Anyone who wants to add me on Dreamwidth should, of course, feel free. And I think I have invite codes floating around, if anyone wants. Given the LJ issues, Dreamwidth is looking pretty swish right now.)

And finally, now that I'm about done checking through an entire clinic list from late April to discover that none of the letters were actually checked and signed off (and thus having to take a whole bunch of steps to ensure that I can know when people have at least read the emails I send listing all the typing I've done for them that needs to be checked so I can send it out and not look like a lazy mare), I suppose I should probably get back to it. Though one last thing: one of my last BPAL purchases involved an imp of Alecto, which is one of the ones I really, desperately wanted. I'm trying it out today and it is everything I hoped it would be. Joy!
thessalian: (writing)
So ... wow. Future planning. Awesome.

Nothing of magnitude going on in July or August, but the autumn's looking pretty busy for me. Starts in September, when I have a ticket to see Doctor Faustus at the Globe. It is an awesome seat - front row, middle gallery so I don't have to strain to look over the people standing/sitting on the floor in the yard section, on an aisle so I don't have to sit next to more than one stranger, and right in front of the stage. Costly, but hell yeah, worth it. Plus it's got Arthur Darvill (Rory from Doctor Who) playing Mephistopheles. This I have to see.

This sort of thing tends to bring me to the luck I've had with seeing screen stars on stage. I'd say it's a side effect of living in London, but really I think it's just luck. I mean, having to miss David Tennant and Catherine Tate in Much Ado About Nothing was a serious blow (someone on my Twitter feed retweeted a friend of theirs selling a ticket for that night for £25 and while I could afford it, I was more or less still floored by headache and just couldn't go) and missing Ewan McGregor and Chiwetel Ejiofor in Othello kind of sucked, but that's the way the cookie crumbles, I suppose. So too does the cookie crumble when things happen like Richard Griffiths getting ill the night I went to see Equus and the understudy more or less phoning in his lines, but Daniel Radcliffe is pretty awesome outside of the Harry Potter role. (Then again, I've seen him singing and dancing in musical theatre in a YouTube clip; he's one versatile little cuss, is Radcliffe.) And then of course there was the utter glory of seeing one of my favourite plays done by truly fantastic actors who just happen to be some of my favourites as well. Yes, that would be Waiting for Godot, which I'd loved since I was maybe fifteen, starring Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Simon Callow and Ronald Pickup. Best. Stage production. EVAR.

Anyway, then there's end of October, when the comics con is going on at the Excel. Now, I might not have ordinarily gone but it seems like there might be a bunch of quasi-local Dragon Age fans going and it's nice to meet the people I'm squeeing with online. I just wish I could sew worth shite; I'd love to cosplay but kind of hard without any kind of costume, y'know? Ah well. Maybe one day. I can dream.

So, yeah. Lots of meatspace interaction on the horizon. Awesome. And I've been poking around at the writing again, trying to figure out where I left off on the last HIPPIE book. I've left it way too long and I need to pick it back up again. Thankfully I have comprehensive notes. I guess they really do come in handy, notes and outlines. Anyway, maybe I won't ever get anywhere with this, but I do have fun writing it and at least some people enjoy reading it so why not actually finish it? Not that I'm not glad I've had a break, mind; just ... y'know. All breaks have to end eventually, and I'd hate to lose too much more impetus. Then again, this whole idea has survived seven years and a really crappy first attempt. I think it can survive a long hiatus.

For now, though, the usual journal-faff, answering the door to grocery delivery (the extra I pay to have it delivered is well worth the not having to wait a half-hour for a bus there and back, or trying to find everything I need for the week in an understocked Co-Op) and then I dunno. Another weekend enters its twilight and all I can think is that it's been way too short. Again.
thessalian: (Default)
Because it's one of those workdays when I really don't want to be here ... recap of DA2, Act 3. The other two acts are in my last couple of entries.

When it all goes to hell. )

It's only half-ten and I already want to go home...
thessalian: (Default)
So I actually got requests for the other two acts of DA2. I ... am kind of surprised. But who am I to ignore a request? (Unless it involves a certain fanfic series that I still don't believe I get requests about, but what the hell.)

So we left it with discussing the Qunari problem... )

I shouldn't be online. But I am. Briefly. *g*
thessalian: (Default)
So ... there's going to be more perfume. Blame again, y'all. You know who you are.

Look, I have all this perfume. Some of it came to me as incredibly thoughtful gifts. I thought it was time I started ... y'know, wearing it. So even if I'm not going out anywhere, I'm taking to actually wearing a little bit of scented awesome, courtesy Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. Currently I'm wearing Al-Shairan, which starts off a little overpowering but is a bit better once it dries. I don't know entirely how that works, but it does, so I'm just going to smile and nod. Still, I don't think it's a favourite. I think it's actually making me sneeze.

Of course, this prompted me to actually take a look at the huge list of perfumes that I actually want and compare it to the stuff that people have for sale or swap on the various BPAL forums to which I ill-advisedly belong. And someone had, like, a whole bunch of ones on my list. (Unfortunately, because my list is so long, I didn't realise that there were more on my list available by said person, and am strongly considering swapping out a couple of the ones I did buy to fill the 8-for-$10 requirement for the ones that are actually on my list before the charming entity from whom I bought them goes to the post office. But then, sometimes there are surprises in the offing when I get random stuff, so ... pondering on a Sunday as I know the post office is closed, like, everywhere on Sunday.) And they had a bottle of one of my favourites for sale. So ... there are eight imps and a mostly-full bottle of The Lady of Shalott winging their way to me. I'm pleased. But still ... man, more perfume? What is it with BPAL? Do they infuse the perfumes with some kind of addictive chemical? What?

Aaaaanyway. I'm not the sort of person who makes new year's resolutions, but there is stuff that I'm determined to be better about from here on out, as decided a week or so ago. For one thing, a look at those X-rays of my elbow following my rib-sprainy slip-and-fall got me kind of worried about the whole 'not getting enough calcium because of the lactose intolerance issue and thus all but asking for osteoporosis' thing, so I'm getting myself back into the habit of daily calcium supplements. Also a daily glass of cranberry juice (small, because I hate cranberry juice) because doctors have told me that it's a good thing for me to be intaking due to potentially TMI sorts of issues. There's the perfume thing that goes along with a general increase in attention paid to my appearance - it's not like I'm going to go overboard or anything but like with my BPAL, I have a collection of flavoured lip glosses that I really need to start wearing more. I've been pretty good about the flat but I'm still determined to keep it reasonably tidy. Well, as tidy as I can when there's a lack of storage space, anyway. Y'know. Try to keep my house in order, literally and metaphorically speaking.

I tidied up today, cleared out the fridge, did some shopping and now I'm going to start some laundry and ponder actually writing. Y'know, something that's not the daftest Dragon Age fanfic I've come up with to date. (And yes, that's counting the Wizard-of-Oz parody thing.) I finally found the handwritten completion of my chapter-by-chapter synopsis notes and maybe getting those down with the rest will inspire me to get back to the next HIPPIE book. I've bashed away at it a little since bailing on NaNoWriMo (shaaaaaaame!) but it's really time I got it up and running again. So I'll have a look at the completed chapter synopsis and see how I go.


Dec. 4th, 2010 01:44 pm
thessalian: (Yay)
There hasn't been a lot to say beyond 'new flat!', really. I'm all settled in now, with my books in the rescued bookshelf with the slight drunken list and my Montreal Canadiens flag propped up on the windowsill and all my clothes hung up in the wardrobe and most of the boxes out with the rubbish and everything. My online time is limited but my general cosiness factor is pretty high. I'm home. It's nice. There are a few things that still need sorting out, I'm aware, but that's going to have to wait until my bank account isn't entirely burned from deposits on the phone/broadband that they still won't connect until January and bedding and tableware and all that stuff. Still, all I really need is a phone/answering machine, and there's no point in having one of those until next month anyway. All the rest - mainly shelves and stuff still, as I'd like to be able to have a shelf unit in the bathroom so I'm not having to leave my body wash and stuff on the shower floor, and DVD racks would be nice, and I'm probably going to need another bookshelf at some point - isn't particularly vital. It can hold off for awhile.

I've been making an effort to reconnect with my music collection. At least part of it is trying to weed through my hard drive to find some space, as I am sadly lacking in such right now and there are at least a few cases where things in my music subdirectory have got duplicated or I don't even know why I have them. Yesterday I reminded myself just how much I like REM. Today - or at least for right now - I'm on Nine Inch Nails. It's all pretty random, but I'm having fun with it. Sometimes you get so locked into a playlist that you forget what else there is. Which is sad, but every so often one busts out of the rut and that's what I'm doing RightThisSecondNow. Going to end up doing the same with my DVD collection; last night was Cheesy 80s Movie Night. I think today is going to be Obscure Asian Horror. Though, since it's nearly impossible to multi-task with writing and the like while watching anything with subtitles, I think I'll leave that until later on this evening. It's more atmospheric in the dark anyway. Hee.

So I didn't manage to win NaNoWriMo this year. I probably could have if I'd actually applied myself, but I did have other things to which I had to apply myself. With the flat and everything, it's probably a miracle I broke 35k. Still, I'm a little disappointed; I'd only ever really fallen flat my first year, and that was 2004. *grumble* Oh well. I still have a good start on the story and it's not like the abortive 2004 NaNo, which I actually ditched because it was unmitigated crap. I just did not have the time or energy. But I'm going to rectify that, damnit. Maybe I won't have won NaNoWriMo this year, but that doesn't mean that the actual novel doesn't get finished.

This means that today is going to be music, writing, maybe some Sims when I need a break, and then Obscure Asian Horror. It'll be a good day. But I'd better get to it; I'm sort of rationing my online time right now, given the pay as you go thing. Soon, things'll be sorted and normal and I'll be able to do things like ... oh, I dunno, watch YouTube vids and stuff again and my connection won't be hella hinky. But still, it's better than being beholden to cybercaffs. Never want to do that again.
thessalian: (Default)
Um. This is getting harder and harder. In the end, it's a toss-up between Wonderfalls and Leverage, and I could not for the life of me tell you why. There's something about them that just grabbed me when I didn't necessarily expect them to. They both set up the plot wonderfully, and while I loved the Firefly pilot, it didn't quite sum up everything as well as those other two did.

I guess I'm not very talkative on the subject - I'm better at ranting.

On that subject, I'm currently front-burnering HIPPIE Book 3, which has no title as yet but has a general plot at least, and a lead-in to what I imagine is going to be a very interesting Book 4. That'll be fun.

I also owe fic. There's three different ways I could take the same prompt, see. Argh.

Don't mind me. I've been operating under a migraine for the last little while. It seems to be fading but still there's a bit of residual groggy. I hope it stays far, far away.
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It's sunny and warm. I'm pretty sure everyone else is thrilled to bits by this development in this stereotypically grey-wet-and-cold country, but me? I'm just glad I have prescription sunglasses. For me, sun = migraines. I'm not a summer person.

Currently experiencing that "breaking in new shoes" feeling. My new clogs are wearing gouges in various spots on my feet. Not quite as bad as the mess Docs traditionally make of my heels (I still have the scars from breaking in the pair of shoes I recently had to bin because of the massive holes in the soles), but still kind of with the ow. But it's the price I pay to actually break in the shoes, and they'll be comfy once that whole process is done. This is how I get through the breaking-in process; that and a healthy dose of "It doesn't hurt that badly" denial.

On the subject of the writing... Long story short: if I hate it and can't imagine that I will ever not hate it, that means there's nothing I need to rewrite and I'm just being my usual self-deprecating self. If, however, I look at it and think that it needs work but probably isn't that bad ... then, ironically, it means it does actually suck and requires a rewrite. How can I hate something more the better it is?

*shrug* I choose not to question. I merely note that Ch22 has been mostly rewritten and now just needs an ending. And from there it's only a chapter, two at most, until Birth Rites is finished. Then I have to figure out which of the ideas kicking around the HIPPIEverse comes next, but that can wait until I'm done with the current book. You never know; something I throw into Ch23 might lead to a definitive answer to the question of "What next?", so I'd hate to limit myself. Heh.

Baby Face

May. 21st, 2010 05:44 pm
thessalian: (Default)
I am in hiding from the rush hour.

See, I had to meet up with my mother. This had something to do with my beloved shoes (Doc Marten flats - no laces, just your typical pair of office-flats) having been so much loved that I'd worn holes through the soles. Which I discovered earlier in the week when I stepped on someone's still-smouldering cigarette butt. Owowow. Anyway, I now have a pair of clogs, a pair of kind of funky black suede things with wooden platform and heel, a bag full of Lush bath and beauty products and a selection of DVDs (Being Human S1&2 box set, Good Will Hunting, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas because Mum insisted I had to see this film and my own copies of Dead Poets Society and Blood Diamond, the latter four courtesy of HMV's 2-for-£10 sale). I am apparently to consider this a finder's fee for the various DVDs, the pair of Birkenstocks, the Lush products and the new cocktail bar I helped Mum find, as well as for being the primary plotter of our early summer weekend in Brighton. (Mum likes it when I take her places because I apparently know all the awesome bars/restaurants/shops/hotels/etc, though gods know I have no idea how I know. I tell you, it's radar!) Not complaining.

Certainly not complaining (but laughing a lot) at the fact that I got carded today. They weren't operating Challenge 25 either; they honestly thought I looked under 21. This is really only vaguely annoying because I don't have a lot of ID that proves my age. Thankfully, I carry my expired passport with me everywhere and that at least states my date of birth. The bartender looked surprised as hell when he saw 1977 as my year of birth, and even more so when my mother returned to the table from her trip to the loo while I was being carded. Mostly because she giggled and told him, "She's my daughter, for Christ's sake".

My mother looks maybe 40. This does not really help my case for getting a drink.

In any case, we did get served (Bellinis are awesome) and now I'm sitting in a cybercaff, hiding from the rush hour. It says a lot about me that I'm here and not holed up in a pub someplace. But this is cheaper entertainment, really. I might go dump £1 into the DDR machine in the nearby arcade if I get really bored, and I probably ought to grab dinner at some point.

At least I finished the stupid Dragon Age parody fic last night. (Yes, I set Dragon Age: Origins - or at least the mage origin of same - to the songs of The Wizard of Oz. I blame [personal profile] mitchy for her obsession with that "Over the Rainbow" talent search competition programme on the BBC. Dear gods - first real introduction to the fandom is a Wizard of Oz parody fic. If I ever write romance/angst/adventure, the fandom might have a collective aneurysm.) Now I can focus on the last couple of chapters of Birth Rites. I've made a good start on Chapter 22, so there's that at least, and I know how it's going to end. Bonus. Then I can stick it in a drawer and forget about it for a couple of weeks.
thessalian: (Default)
News on the fic-plagiarism is that the fic is no longer up. Dunno if that was before or after the email the guy who adapted the fics to prose format sent to the FF.net abuse team, because I did flag up in the reviews that, actually, FF.net has a TOS that looks very unfavourably on that kind of thing. To be honest, don't really mind. It's down, and I'm sure there's some blog somewhere in which the perpetrator of this is wailing about the unfairness of it all. But seriously, that was just ... cheap. But it's over now, with minimal drama, and I'm hardly going to dwell on it. Someone learned not to go around stealing things where people might notice. All's well.

Job news is better. The consultant wants to meet me tomorrow morning, half past nine. This is an 'old-fashioned consultant', and I know exactly what that means, so I think I'll handle the meeting okay. Must also mean that my references cleared okay. Not that I didn't expect them to, but you honestly never know with some of the bullshit I've had to deal with in previous jobs. So tomorrow is Moment of Truth. I feel like a contestant on one of those Pop Idol programmes or that thing [personal profile] mitchy watches where these girls are competing in a talent search for the chance to play Dorothy on the West End stage. Just hope this 'old-fashioned consultant' isn't a Simon Cowell clone.

In other writing news, I finally slogged through that other chapter of Birth Rites that was giving me some trouble. Chapter 22 is going a lot more smoothly, thanks. It's an interesting perspective to write from, with minimal to no dialogue for a good while, but it's a lot easier than the last couple of bits. Therein lies the problem of building to a climax of the kind I ended up with - you end up having to do the thing justice and then being convinced that you aren't and ... gah. I'll be glad when this one's done. Then I can let it sit for a month (while noodling around with Dragon Age fanfic or something to keep my hand in) and then read it with a marginally less biased viewpoint. And when I say 'biased viewpoint', take it to mean 'viewpoint in which I think the entire thing is a waste of hard drive space'. Heh.

Oh, and edit to add: the other thing I forgot was that there's a new bit of DLC out for Dragon Age today. No, I'm not moaning about being unable to afford it. Actually, I don't even want it. Look, the whole thing's called "The Darkspawn Chronicles", and while I get that sometimes it's interesting to play from the villains' point of view, it helps when the villains in question aren't a mostly mindless horde single-mindedly bent on killing everything in its path. That shit'd fly with Awakening, where it'd probably be really interesting to play the Architect, but Origins? Playing as the darkspawn? That's mindless gore-fest and I'm actually really disappointed. (Plus they seem to have taken no note of what courses of action Alistair disapproves of throughout the game because ... dude, I get wanting werewolves and golems running around, but ... meh?)

So it's with a tiny bit of schadenfreude that I note people in the fan communities saying that actually, it's got crash issues whenever the battles get too big, and given that we're talking about the final battle here...
thessalian: (Default)
Well, wow. I don't know whether to be angry, flattered, flattered-by-proxy or just a little bemused. I think I'll settle for "all of the above".

So, some of you are aware of my history in the land of Daria fanfic. That's actually how I met some of you. And there were ... bits of meta-fic. Some were straight-forward prose adaptations (so don't really count as meta, I don't think), and some that were more or less original - fanfic of fanfic - and others that were trying to be original but copy-pasted about half my dialogue as well as borrowing characters. It got aggravating, on top of all the other aggravation fandom (and life) was throwing at me. So I backed out. I did a bit more writing on it a couple of years ago but realistically, my time in that fandom is over.

Well. I recently got approached with the information that someone's plagiarising my fic again. Well, by proxy anyway. Essentially, someone's grabbed the prose adaptations wholesale, done a (oddly shoddy) search-and-replace job on the names and plunked it onto Fanfiction.net as their own Kingdom Hearts fanfic series. This individual hasn't even bothered to change the chapter titles much.

It amuses me to consider the reactions I'm having now and comparing them to what reactions I would have had at the time. I think I probably would have been angrier about it. Or at least, it wouldn't have been tempered with this sense of outright pity for the individual in question. I mean, hell, the whole point of fanfic is to create a new story in a world you love. Or at least, that's what I thought it was supposed to be. The idea that you're so invested in being Someone In Fandom that you'd outright steal someone else's work from an entirely unrelated fandom and pass it off as your own instead of ... y'know, writing something yourself? It confuses the hell out of me, and makes me sad.

That doesn't mean I won't be happy when this little twit is outed, mind you. I have this thing about someone getting credit for someone else's work, whether the work is mine or not. And let's face it - it isn't, entirely. Dialogue's mine, sure. Descriptives? Not so much. And if it were Yui Daoren or Kara Wild or CE Foreman or any of the other Daria ficters ... or indeed anyone else ... I'd be just as annoyed, or possibly more so. Because so much of the work is mine, though, I suppose that, along with the anger and the pity and the "WTF?" ... I also feel a bit flattered. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all. I don't like being ripped off, but I guess there's something to someone thinking you're worth ripping off.

But I still want to nail her to a wall. Figuratively.

In other news, job stuff continues apace and now they're digging up my references. Gods, I hope my references hold up. They should. They have through other jobs. I shouldn't be worrying about this but ... well, you know how I get. Fingers still crossed (at least when I don't have to type anything).
thessalian: (Default)
Every so often, I feel just a little like Gonzo the Great.

It's the writing. While I can, on a basic intellectual level, appreciate that I am creating something that others enjoy (or at least seem to, at least at the point when I get over the abject terror and let people read it) ... it's the actual writing part that sometimes seems a little bit ludicrous. Writing's a reverse vivisection, basically, or something Dr Frankenstein would do. You're taking component bits, stitching them together in the most logically consistent way you can for the desired end product and then zapping it with the lightning of audience opinion, screaming, "It's alive! ALIIIIIIIIIIIVE!" Or, if you're of a less megalomaniacal bent, praying that enough people will like it, clap their hands and keep your poor forlorn Tinkerbell from dying. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

Of course, we all know what happened to Frankenstein's monster, right? Because dear ol' Victor was actually going for function rather than form, the creature he created turned out clumsy at best - Galatea meets Quasimodo. Somehow, he did not notice how hideous his creation looked until it was flailing in the lab. I think that's what a lot of writers end up being afraid of, in the end - that they won't notice how crude and slapdash what they've written actually is until it's seen from the outside, by which point there is simply no turning back. You can't even kill the story like Victor tried to kill his creation (and vice versa) because stories persist. You can destroy the copies, but if someone else has read them, they're still there in the heads of those who've read it, for good or ill. And even if they forget, you remember that you produced something that awful and it took someone else to tell you.

It's small wonder that so many authors are terrified of finishing anything, or letting someone read what they write. There's the potential for creating a monster there, and the only target that monster has is its creator. *brr*

Getting back to Gonzo the Great ... well, that's the lighter side of this whole mess. Say you have written things, and people like them, and tell you so. There's that elemeent of "Hope to see more of you" that one gets from positive critique that makes one feel watched. And it's difficult to understand why people are so anticipatory. Sure, intellectually it's pretty clear - they want to know where you take the story next, or where your imagination goes next, or ... well, just what next. But on a visceral level, it seems a little ludicrous to the writer ... because the writer already knows 'what next'. It's getting used to the audience that keeps a writer writing, most of the time - the existence of others who want to know the 'what next' and thus require the writer to pull it out of their heads so the world can see. So that very act of writing feels a little like an exercise done, at least in part, in front of an audience.

Which makes NaNoWriMo, and things like it, the equivalent of "And now! I will eat this rubber tyre to the music of The Flight of the Bumblebee!" 'Cos without people wanting to know if he'd go through with it, or the 'what next' (which, as I recall, was brief interest followed by staggering boredom and getting booed off the stage, which is more or less what an author would get if they tried writing a novel as a stage act), he'd just be a sad muppet with weird taste in music eating a rubber tyre.

...Yeah, I dunno where that came from either. At least the mental images are amusing.
thessalian: (Default)
* When more of the world says things like this, I will feel a lot better about elections.

* Self-confidence is a drug. It alters the state of mind, enables the user to push past their limits, those riding the high have the potential to make complete idiots of themselves (and not notice or care) and over-indulgence in it can be potentially fatal. Now, if only we could get it in tablet form for those of us with a deficiency, that'd be awesome.

* I have opinions. They do not gel with the opinions of many, many others. I am aware of this. So it never ceases to amuse and bemuse me that, despite my near-total deviation from the lowest common denominator unwashed masses majority vote, my opinions are still sought after. I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that I am apparently really amusing when I rant. (Yes, I have been told that I'm cute when I'm angry. I tend to think that I'm more funny when I'm angry, and only when you don't have to be in the same room with me when I'm angry.)

* If I start in on another writing binge this weekend, who's going to remind me when Doctor Who is on? Must not forget when Doctor Who is on. Normally [personal profile] mitchy reminds me but she's away.

* If I start in on another writing binge this weekend, will I actually produce anything worth reading? Fuck it; how do I know if I don't try? *prods Ch20 some more*

* Must triple-check the sound quality on the headset mic I got for Christmas. Must also have a last look-over at Birth Rites Ch1 to make sure there's nothing else I want to do to it before I think about podcasting. Mostly it's just practice, but Birth Rites is nearly done. (And we loop back to the Self-Confidence as Drug thing again...)

* Mould tastes really awful. I'm just saying. (Not my fault; the bagel did not look mouldy - it simply tasted of bread mould. Not a pleasant flavour when one is expecting chicken sandwich.
thessalian: (Default)
11 (Michael Algernon) discusses fashion with 5 (Rachel Hutton), 9 (Annette Dodd) listens but fails to comprehend and 14 ('That Gardnerian Yutz' Ramsay Strake) has hysterics.

More Things in Heaven and Earth )


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