Gen; chamber music AU; characters: Ward & team (incl.Trip); teen; ~20,000 words
Summary: Something happened to Grant Ward fifteen years ago. Something that left him damaged. Music helped him survive and it still does but is surviving enough? Grant wants to live, but he isn't sure he remembers how. He doesn't know if he has what it takes to truly be alive.
I have no relation with music other than listening to it, so I had no idea if this AU scenario would work for me... but oh, it does! I got pulled into this world immediately. I found this story really moving (and very well plotted, rearranging and transforming parts of canon into something entirely new).
- Reading, books 2014, 101.
101. Raising Steam, by Terry Pratchett: I have mixed reactions to this story, but that’s because it’s a story that made me think and, even better, it’s a comedic story that made me think. So, despite my mixed reactions, I declare this novel a win. Extra points for incorporating one of my personal favourite words, inherited from my grandmother: fossick. (Y’all love my in-depth lit reviews, y/y? ;-P )
- Watching, a Play for Today by Alan Plater: Land of Green Ginger, 1973, 49min youtube (sound is v. quiet). Need to know before you watch: the promised Humber bridge wasn’t completed in 1976 but five years late in 1981 (not that it would’ve made much difference to Hull in the longer term but it’s still heartbreaking in context). A woman returns from London to her hometown of Hull to decide whether to pursue her career abroad or marry her old boyfriend, who also works "abroad" in the fishing industry, and settle back where she came from. She discovers that back where she came from doesn’t exist any more (when does it ever? Everywhere I hung out as a young person had been demolished within a decade). Massive nostalgia fest from the point of view of both 1973 and 2014: The Watersons, newly built estates, old back to backs being demolished (cue urban exploration 1973 style, which looks much safer than the bomb sites kids were exploring in 1943), a night out in the pub, The Watersons again, meditations on the fishing business and post-industrial towns, and then everybody who can leave does so. This is a classic Plater script, all character and dialogue, so there are many priceless moments but I especially liked the one when a London journalist comments on the "mysterious northern mist" he sees behind people’s eyes, apparently oblivious to the fact they’re shutting him out because he’s patronising them. Also trains, trawlers, and life in 1973 for real.
- Watching, art: Crucible 2 sculpture exhibition at Gloucester Cathedral. Close-up of A Devil's Box of Tricks, by Jason Wason.
- So, what are you doing, thinking, wondering about, reading, watching, making, or writing, that you don't usually post about?
2. My usual haircutting place has moved to a new place next door and it's all shiny and new, which is nice!
3. Yuletide nominations are open and I'm having a lot of fun contemplating my possible nominations! So far I think my three are going to be:
--Lord of the Rings Online, because I've fallen in love with two of the characters original to that game (a Dunlending and a Rohirrim who fall in love, I'm rooting for them so much and hoping they don't get a cliched tragic ending) and would love to see fic for them.
--The Bride's Stories, which is a wonderful manga about a woman in central Asia in the late 1800s who has moved from a rural tribe to a town to marry. The marriage is basically arranged, and the groom is 12 and she's 20 (in the context of the manga, she's considered far too ancient for him). Over time as he matures, she truly falls in love with him. The supporting cast is amazing, the art is staggering, and I find the romance incredibly charming (I suppose it's a bit squicky and will probably require an "underage sex" tag, but damn it, they're so sweet together!)
Here's a page that shows how dynamic the art is:
And here are Amir and Karluk together, shortly after Karluk has saved her life and she suddenly finds herself flustered and awkward around the groom she has always seen as a boy:
--Koi to ha Yobenai, the manga I mentioned a while back, because it's sooo cute.
( I shall share Ei and Junpei's first kiss below the cut! )
Friday was the Finding Nemo day, but I had stuff to do. I am amused by the snacks -- goldfish crackers and blue-and-green M&Ms are the bestworst movie snack ever. I cross-checked with Purple, who was likewise busy. We got out of the office surprisingly early, and then spent quite some time lollygagging about in the parking lot chatting.
sithjawa wins some sort of prize for selfie with large, slightly perturbed, Rhode Island Red cock.
I slept through most of the weekend, despite bottomless mimosa brunch and Folsom Street Fair both being scheduled for Sunday. I did go over to Guide Dog Aunt's for a movie, and then out on Sunday night to retrieve some nacho fries.
( Averted (accidental) animal harm. )
Are you familiar with the "Big Bang" style fanwork challenge? In the most general terms, first there's the general theme of the challenge, then writers prepare some fic within the bounds of the challenge (generally long-form), then artists get the fic and illustrate it (not always visual art). They're posted anonymously for a short time, then the authors and artists are revealed. A "Reverse Big Bang" is where the art comes first and the fic comes second.
The Bad Bang: Like A Big Bang ... But Terrible. norabombay played in that one. The idea is: deliberately terrible art & deliberately terrible fic. It's horrifying and wonderful. I was content to just giggle at the various injokes until Nora basically grabbed me by the ear and made me pinch-hit for Bad Bang II: Bang Backwards.
The collection is still unrevealed, so I can't say which one I did. I can say that lb and StPatience quoted their favorite bits of it back to me, which is really hilariously gratifying. I feel like it may have the seeds of a decent crackfic if I, you know, ran spellcheck or bothered to correct typoes. Or engaged a beta reader who felt like doing his actual job.
I finished reading The Winter Long, so now I can go in search of spoiler-laden discussions! This was the book which made me decide that I totally need to hook Purple on these next, because I was going through and saying "I have got to go "aaaaaaa" at him about this!" and that sort of requires, you know, the first nine books in the series. Not that the first nine are sub-par! Far from it! But I sort of need to get him up to speed. After he finishes Parasite.
Purple knows a lot of people, and doesn't always have the best attention span on earth, so he can be prone to social swiping the way some people get nerdswiped. Case in point: today! Purple sent out the lunch call, but on his way to the cafeteria, he ran into his not-boyfriend (the guy who less-heteronormative people mistake for his boyfriend the way more-heteronormative people mistake me for his girlfriend) and his team, who were just headed out of the cafeteria because nothing there looked good. So they all went offsite for lunch, unexpectedly. (Me, texting: "Invisible Purple?" Purple, on IM, slightly later: "Sorry about that...")
Conferred with lb about the thing.
Friday's helldesk release was apparently uneventful. I did some poking and wikiwork and identified some of the requirements that had been fulfilled, and documented how to use some of them.
This time, Purple waited slightly for me to wrap up. At a sensible hour, even! We talked math class and terrible math jokes and childhood and college. He got to talking about some particularly tricky bit of debugging, with a program that was really not amenable to having picked apart where it goes wrong under some certain circumstances. And how somebody had to step up "and throw yourself on the grenade." And he paused, and looked at me. "Thank you for throwing yourself on that grenade so I don't have to," he said.
I gave him a quick sideways hug, and then we talked about the composition of the rag-tag group of scrappy yellathon enthusiasts who are determined to face up to the helldesk software.
I ate some dodgy pine nuts this weekend, so I am "enjoying" the bizarre aftertaste to my food.
( Meal schedule issues, and other related fun. )
Fashion Star Fillies
Zalgon 26 McGee
The I Could books of pet poetry by Franceso Marciuliano
You'll notice I listed characters underneath these fandoms, but I did not nominate them. That is because all characters I list, unless they were in the sign up sheet, are optional for you. I only chose fandoms where I was happy with getting any character from the canon. I included my favourites here, but I will say again, I like all chracters from the fandoms these come from and you should write whichever ones you think work best with the prompts or your ideas.
Loves: Gen, (Femme and Dude)slash, Het, family, partners, adventure, hijinks, taking a strange concept as matter of fact, things being as good as they look without a sinister undercurrent, history
Hates: Suicide, sex crimes, extreme kink, abuse
( Fashion Star Fillies )
( Dinotopia )
( Zalgon 26 McGee )
( Research Institute (Lego) )
( I Could Pee On This, I could Chew On This, I Knead My Mommy, the I Could series of pet poems by Francesco Marciuliano )
- 730PM Bob's Burgers S5, FOX (Currently watching S3)
- 8PM Once Upon a Time S4, ABC (Haven't seen past 1x06)
- 830PM Brooklyn Nine-Nine S2, FOX (All caught up. Weird move to Sunday though.)
- 10PM CSI S15, CBS (Legacy Show. The finale was uninspired.)
- 8PM Gotham S1, FOX (Curious and nervous to see how the mythology gets interpreted.)
- 9PM Sleepy Hollow S2, FOX (Haven't watched but plan to catch up shortly)
- 8PM NCIS S12, CBS (Legacy show. Revitalized with the Bishop addition. Needed some young blood.)
- 8PM The Flash S1, CW (Not a fan of the suit but hopeful for the series. Can't wait.)
- 9PM Marvel's Agents of SHIELD S2, ABC (Was an enjoyable show, can't think of an episode that I didn't care for. Maybe Ward's past?)
- 9PM NCIS: New Orleans S1, CBS (Spinoff. Scott Bakula. Will give the first season a try.)
- 9PM New Girl S4, FOX (The show may have hit its peak in S2. With Coach's return, the show feels spread thin with too many characters.)
- 10PM Forever S1, ABC (Wasn't expecting to watch this show but the previews caught me. Seems like an immortal Sherlock Holmes?)
- 8PM Arrow S3, CW (Almost done with S1, will probably catch up before Thanksgiving?)
- 8PM Bones S10, FOX (This show is starting to get a bit of the whole lather, rinse & repeat repetitiveness to it. Still not fond of domestic Booth/Bones)
- 9PM Reign S2, CW (This show puzzles me. I hated the pilot but gifs and posts on tumblr make me want to give it another chance. Maybe.)
- 10PM Elementary S3, CBS (Still a solid show that more people should watch.)
- 10PM How to Get Away With Murder S1, ABC (The damn tv preview is catchy as hell. I don't know if i want to try it or not.)
- 9PM Hawaii Five-0 S5, CBS (Legacy show. I was ready to give up last year but then it sucked me back in somehow.)
- 10PM Constantine S1, NBC (Curious to see how this goes. Never read the comic or watched the movie. Will give it a chance though.)
- Galavant S1, ABC (The preview online was hilarious. Hope the show is as fun as that.)
- Agent Carter S1, ABC (I enjoyed the character in the films, will see how it goes on TV.)
- Hart of Dixie S4, CW (Onto S2 in my catchup. Really liked Season 1, reminded me of oldschool WB shows.)
- iZombie S1, CW (I never read the comic but I really like the premise. Could be fun.)
I also tried Gotham, and that was just as bad as I feared. Sister and I snarked whenever we paid attention. Pretty much the only element I enjoyed was Jada Pinkett Smith - she knew exactly what camp buttons to push - and even she could only take terrible writing so far. My bar for Batman is so low, too. Sigh.
So Sleepy Hollow is most of my fall TV this year. I can't think of anything else I really want to see until spring (Mad Men) or summer (it sounds like that's when Hannibal's coming back). As always, I'll see what fandom's interested in, but most of my TV watching these days is more dependent on what in-person people around me want to see. I'm doing a long-term Star Trek rewatch, and I'm going to do a short-term Gilmore Girls run-through when that's on Netflix next month, so I don't feel like I'm suffering by watching less TV than I used to. Mostly because it probably isn't less? It's just less new stuff.
In news not related to TV, I'm still having problems writing, and I'm still really busy with RL stuff, but I need some kind of outlet, so I'm studying drawing, music, and foreign languages as a way to feel fulfilled. It's not as busy as it sounds: I'm doing the languages with Duolingo for 30 min-1 hour three times a week, and I'm playing guitar/bass and/or piano for three times a week while doing some supplementary reading/video watching on music theory whenever I feel like it.
I have been spending a bit more time on art. It won't just be drawing, but I'm going through this site's free video library, and they start with physical drawing before transitioning to digital painting tutorials, which is what I really want to learn. I'm not expecting to be super great, but if I can learn how to make my traditional art neater and if I can get my digital art a little closer to what I see in my head? That would be fantastic.
(I'm also thinking it would be fun to shift a little more to fanart so I can still contribute to fandom if I spend more time writing original fic in the near future. It's not the first time I've had that thought, but going into winter's maybe a good time to do something about it, since I'll be home more and in need of something to keep me going.)
Anyway, this is one of my classic ways to fight the brainworms: work on something else until they're confused and swarm away from my original target. I managed to outline my femslashex story yesterday because it was a break from drawing twenty rectangular shapes. Sometimes it's frustrating having so many interests, but really, nothing has helped me cope more.
Isn't Magical Realism a fairly specific genre? Like, just from the summaries in the Alternate Universe - Magical Realism tag, I'm getting what seems like more nopes than yesses.
(If it sounds like Harry Potter - not magical realism. If it sounds like Dresden Files - not magical realism. If there be dragons in modern London... Maybe. Depends how you use them.)
I think I might be overcaffeinated. And the cat was being a total jerk five minutes go, but now he's asleep.
Kate Bush, The Kick Inside
Look, “Wuthering Heights” is an amazing song and everybody knows it. But I’m impressed by how diverse Bush can get; it all sounds different but of a piece. “Oh To Be In Love” is charming and a bit of a chanting vortex (my favorite kind of songs!) and “James And The Cold Gun” is thrilling. Plus, they’re all story songs, which used to be the only kind of songs I could get into.
Kate Bush, Lionheart
This album art is magical. I want this for my wall of vinyl. “Wow” reminds me of that book, Help Thanks Wow. Like a kind of prayer. And “Hammer Horror” is great, especially considering the season.
Kate Bush, Never For Ever
I’ve liked “Babooshka” since seeing its music video, and the delicate nature of “Army Dreamers” is fascinating.
Well, this happened. I did see “I Am The Best” being used in a technology ad at the movie theater the other week, so there’s that.
Sailor Moon, “Crushing On Ami: the Boy Who Can See the Future”
Sailor Moon, “The Painting of Love: Usagi and Mamoru Get Closer”
Sailor Moon, “Total Chaos: the Messy Love Rectangle”
Sailor Moon, “Grandpa Loses Control: Rei in Danger”
Sailor Moon, “Love and Chased: Luna’s Worst Day Ever”
This… might be one of my favorite episodes, because it’s hilarious. No set-up for Luna’s predictament, the sheer hilarity of the incongruity of Rhett Butler, regular cat, playing Tuxedo Mask to Luna’s Sailor Moon, and Zoisite having to go through the sewer to get the crystal.
Sailor Moon, “Umino’s Resolve: I’ll Protect Naru”
Sailor Moon, “Enter Venus, the Last Sailor Guardian”
Sailor Moon, “The Shining Silver Crystal: The Moon Princess Appears”
Sailor Moon, “ Returning Memories: Usagi and Mamoru’s Past”
Sailor Moon, “Usagi’s Confusion: Is Tuxedo Mask Evil?”
Sailor Moon, “Let’s Become a Princess: Usagi’s Bizarre Training”
Sailor Moon, “The Snow, the Mountains, Friendship and Monsters”
Okay, that’s too many episodes for me to comment on specifically, because Sailor Moon, the anime, has tons of filler and I powered through these to catch up to the airing schedule on Hulu. I honestly prefer to watch this weekly, because it allows me to marinate. That’s how fandom gets started. But I really did enjoy this stretch—seeing Usagi and Mamoru slowly circle each other, the revelation of the Moon Kingdom (which I knew, but didn’t know in specifics), and the introduction of Sailor Venus. And dealing with Usagi’s depression after Mamoru is taken? WHAT? WHAT GORGEOUS EMOTIONAL ARC IS THIS? And then there’s Zoisite’s death. I’m sure there’s a lot of interesting meta about Zoisite and Kunzite and queer representation. Zoisite is a fey stereotype, but he has his dignity and a lover who clearly adores him. And what about Kunzite? There’s so much to analyze. This is great.
Sailor Moon: 0% (0/13)
Saturday Night Live: 15.3% (5/39)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)
- blogTO selects the top twenty music videos filmed in Toronto.
- The Dragon's Tales notes that Catalonian separatists have not been put off by the failure of Scotland to separate.
- The Everyday Sociology Blog looks at the false stereotypes behind the child migrant crisis.
- Geocurrents notes the advance of the Islamic State against Kurds in Syria.
- Joe. My. God. quotes an anti-gay American conservative unhappy some people are suspicious of her just because she and hers are attending a conference in Putin's Moscow.
- Marginal Revolution quotes a Japan pessimist who thinks demographics mean the Japanese economy will do well not to shrink.
- Bruce Sterling shares a map of present and future natural gas pipelines in Europe.
- Towleroad notes Nicolas Sarkozy's criticism of same-sex marriage for humiliating French families.
- Window on Eurasia suggests Kaliningrad separatism is a major issue, or at least seen to be a major issue.