azurite: (Default)
I'm typing this on steph's iPhone. So not much to say now except I want one! Not on the AT&T network though. I'd rather wait for that partnership to end if it ever does. ILB, I'm still working on your fic. I'll try and get it (and Scrib's prologue to AoA, too) by new year's eve. It's all planned out but I don't like the prose I wrote so far. What is my "style" I wonder?
azurite: (xmas - hanging pink & green ornaments)
Who wants fics for the holidays?

I DO, I DO!

So I'm starting a gift exchange! This is NOT limited to any one fandom, genre, pairing, etc. It's a free-for-all, and you get to pick the fandoms and the prompts and participate in ones YOU find interesting! It also does NOT have to be holiday-themed.

Here's how it works:

(1) Comment to this entry with anywhere between 1 - 3 fandoms starting with a particular letter of the alphabet. Include the subject line "FANDOM." Go with the most common name, the Japanese title, or the title you prefer. Only one fandom per letter! ANY FANDOM IS OKAY. Anime, manga, TV shows, movies, books, whatever!

So let's say you like the letter "F." How about "Final Fantasy VIII" then? So for the letter F, the fandom will be "Final Fantasy VIII." But that means no one can submit "Final Fantasy X," okay? Try and pick a fandom that multiple people might write for/enjoy.

(2) The fandom Master List will be posted here (see below). This is the list of participating fandoms. I think 26 is a pretty good variety, don't you?

(3) Post 3-10 prompts (don't make them fandom-specific) in the comments. A prompt can be a single word (like "Wreath") or a phrase ("12 Days of Christmas") or whatever you like (images, lyrics, etc.)! But again, don't be fandom-specific-- no pairings, characters, etc. in the prompts! Include the subject line "PROMPT."

(4) Respond to the other prompts in the comments (you can respond to your own prompts, but it's more fun if you challenge yourself!), either by including a ficlet (drabbles or longer) right there in the comment, or linking elsewhere (either on LJ or another site). The comment should include what fandom it's for, and any other relevant information.

If you'd like an extra challenge, try combining one or more of the prompts, or crossing over the fandoms! Just make sure when you comment with your fic/link, you comment to EACH prompt that you used, or you mention EACH fandom that you wrote for!

More people have added fandoms, so I added the last of my three. Feel free to submit more fandoms-- you can submit more than one, but remember-- only ONE fandom per letter! Check below for what letters are already snagged! (Also, if we don't get enough people submitting 3 fandoms each, those that have already submitted three might be able to submit more, probably up to 2 more. But hopefully you guys are spreading the word about this post so people do more than submit fandoms-- they also submit prompts and fic[let]s!)

A:
B: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon
C:
D: Doctor Who
E:
F: Final Fantasy VII
G: Ghost Hunt
H: Harry Potter
I: Immortal Rain
J:
K: Kingdom Hearts
L:
M:
N:
O:
P:
Q:
R: Rurouni Kenshin
S: Slayers
T: Teen Titans (cartoon)
U:
V: Vision of Escaflowne
W: Where in The World is Carmen Sandiego?
X:
Y: Yu-Gi-Oh!
Z:

 Silent Night by Sarah Brightman from A Winter Symphony
azurite: (twilight - fursplode!)
So I got to reading [livejournal.com profile] pamgutz's very intriguing essay on exactly why (complete with in-book citations) Edward Cullen is an abusive boyfriend, and so not worth all the fangirl-gasm he gets. And being that "Twilight" is, at best, amusing/entertaining/a strangely addicting read but I still STRONGLY dislike the characters, the writing style, and the disappointing plot, I've got a fic bunny.

Remember a while back how I said I'd never write "Twilight" fics because the fandom scares me? It's still true. But now I've got a bit more of a bunny that I had before, so I'm setting it free here on the 'Net, because if I ever become masochistic, I might revisit this post. If anyone else were to ever undertake this and make it Very Good, I'd want to read it (which is saying a lot for something involving the "Twilight" fandom).

Vampire-verses cross )

Yeah, this post got longer than I planned.

Random aside: why are there no good Rainbow Text generators online? Why do generators always have to spit out bad/deprecated HTML code? Use CSS! Use hex codes with quotes and pound-signs, or use the damn color names! Yeesh.
azurite: (all muses are busy...)
Spam-posting today, sorry. Trying to force myself to study, and it's not that easy to do.

Give a gift; tell a story. - [livejournal.com profile] vilify's got several prompts to choose from; all you have to do is comment (you can comment anonymously, and IP logging is off-- you don't even need to be a LiveJournal user to do this!). Write at least one paragraph of non-fiction text relating to the prompt. Share your story.

(This is kind of a meme, but kind of not. It's just something that encourages participation, so if you like memes, consider yourself tagged.)

[livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra, I wonder if we could do something like this for a holiday fic exchange? Obviously, in our case, it would be fandom, not non-fiction, but we wouldn't specify anything but a word or a phrase, and let anyone pick/choose from them and respond to them. We could ask people who were going to participate to give us 3-5 prompts, so that everyone would stand a chance of getting at least one story for "their" prompt.

(Obviously, the problem with this concept is that without specifying a fandom, some prompts might inspire fics for a fandom that the prompt-creator has no part in. So maybe we could have a master list of "allowed" fandoms or something, fics that everyone might enjoy?)
azurite: (xmas - hanging pink & green ornaments)
Ah, I miss Usenet.
What a crazy thing to say, huh? But in the search for some Sailor Moon images, for some reason, the first thing that popped in my head was NOT to do a Google Image search or go to The Oracle or whatnot, but to see if alt.binaries.sailor-moon was still around (assuming I got that name right).

Alas, the vast majority of ISPs these days have discontinued their NNTP/Usenet access service (probably because they never made much of an effort to advertise that it even existed, meaning new users didn't even KNOW about it), and that includes the ones in use (or formerly used) by my grandparents and Mom/Gary. For many alt.fan or rec. groups, access is still available for free from places like Google Groups, but it's not quite the same... plus, there's still the overwhelming problem of SPAM, and in Google Groups' web-based interface, there's diddly-squat you can do about it.

The only other alternative --for general Usenet access to binary groups AND for NNTP access in news programs (Apple Mail doesn't even support NNTP, which had me temporarily thinking I might switch back to Thunderbird... then I wised up and realized that an extra piece of software isn't ALWAYS a pain in the ass, especially with my lack of an NNTP server in the first place)-- is to buy it. Giganews seems to be the one of choice, but I don't have the dough to shell out for Usenet access when it's something that's more of a whim to me.

But I do miss those good ol' days when I could hop on Usenet and find image floods of fanart, or character-specific art, or art themed around a certain event/holiday. It'd be pretty helpful for me now, in my search for Sailor Moon Christmas images. (I know, I know, The Oracle has a whole gallery devoted to it, but it's only 58 images! I *know* there's more than that out there!)

Speaking of SM, I did sign up to be a Sekkret Stalker on Aria's Ink this year. Participation seems fairly low so far for this point in December, but there are still FOUR MORE DAYS TO SIGN UP! Why not?

Plus, [livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra and I want to do a holiday challenge or something this year, so why not throw your hat in and volunteer too? We'll probably do something that covers different fandoms-- maybe a Secret Santa or Fic Exchange where all you do is specify a list of fandoms you'll write for, genres/ratings/pairings/warnings you prefer, and up to 3 "plot prompts." How does that sound?

Also, I got an invite from someone named Loki to join [livejournal.com profile] the_circlet and its sub-communities, [livejournal.com profile] silver_circle and [livejournal.com profile] gold_circle, along with a few related comms. It all sounds/looks fairly interesting, but I think I still need a bit more clarification on exactly what is DONE there. [livejournal.com profile] baine, care to comment? I'm confused!

Also, I haven't written SM fic in AGES and going back to Aria's Ink (Loki also reviewed "24" there, which is probably one of my better SM fics to date) and checking out these comms... it's all made me very nostalgic! Hey, maybe we can revive the [livejournal.com profile] smrff in time for the holidays!? That'd be so awesome.

I'm only up now because (as usual) my sleeping schedule's off. I went downtown tod-- er, yesterday to get a December Fast Pass and eat some delicious Tex-Mex. I got "approached" by a very enthusiastic girl from Greenpeace who kept me from getting to Chevy's that much sooner. I'm all for saving the planet, so:

DO NOT BUY KIMBERLY-CLARK PRODUCTS. These are the makers of Kleenex, Cottonelle, Scott tissue, and many other products. Why? Because they're clear-cutting (meaning cutting without care to the re-growth of future trees) thousands of ancient Canadian trees. The CEO has reportedly even said that his consumers "don't care about environmental issues." Show that pig he's wrong! Also, find out if your job/school has a contract with KC. Then get them to CANCEL it. There are more environmentally-friendly companies out there.

Accion Y Reaccion )
azurite: (azureshipping - side by side)


You Look Like an Aries



It's likely that you have a lean and strong body.

Your facial features are uniquely beautiful, and you may have a scar or beauty mark.



You have good posture, and you carry yourself with an air of confidence.

You have a strong, steady gaze. You eyes are often issuing a challenge.



Like most Aries people, you probably very energetic and enjoy it when someone challenges you.

You expect the best from people, and you believe in them. You are willing to take a risk on someone.



*sings* Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Okay, maybe it's a bit premature to be celebrating, but after turning in my 6-page paper on Gay Rights (which was supposed to have more of a focus on the California Supreme Court, but the group project upon which the paper was based had so many facets and sub-topics that I may have gone "off-tangent" by covering more ground), I feel liberated! Free! GLAD!

Maybe not completely stress-free, but close to it: I have no final exams, and all I have left are some quizzes for my science classes and some feedback discussion for my recreation class. Everything else is turned in. I have high hopes for most of my classes --As or Bs, I hope-- but maybe a C for the GWS 350 class (the one that I just turned the paper in for), because I didn't turn in two other papers-- an Autoethnography and a paper on race. I also missed some class chat and discussion times. -_- Needless to say, I want to make sure that if I ever have to sign up for classes at the last minute just to get units, I'd rather pick something dirt-simple and easy than something completely out of my range, potentially challenging (to the point of bringing stress where it shouldn't), and bizarre.

And then! And then! I really, desperately want to finish WDKY26. Madly.
And then there's the revamping of the BEA Media page, the idea for a few fanlistings I've mentioned, and various other personal projects, like the overhauling of the main Seventh-Star.Net page.

Since I do have a biology quiz tomorrow morning, I really ought to get studying for that, but at some point "tonight" (that is, this morning), I'm going to play me some SNES games and go to bed with a SMILE on my face (dagnabbit)!
azurite: (xmas - hanging pink & green ornaments)


You Are a Gingerbread House



A little spicy and a little sweet, anyone would like to be lost in the woods with you.



I want to participate in a holiday challenge. Is [livejournal.com profile] yuugiouxmasfic still around? If not, anyone want to do a holiday challenge of some kind? I'm up for almost anything...

Three birthdays in one! )

Anyway, I've got school work that I've been procrastinating on to do, so... off I go!
azurite: (twilight - literary syphilis)
Not that I will, but IF I DID, any "Twilight" series fics I write would have the following plots (or answer the following questions):

* Why Bella is in love with Edward

* Bella acts more like a normal teenager: when she decides she might like Edward (note: not "irrevocably in love with" yet), she opts to try some very teenage ways of "getting his attention" as well as testing his limits around her (once she discovers the truth about him, but maybe before she confronts him about it/he tells her), including trying to seduce him.
- Does Bella even know she's doing it? Ohhh yes, especially when (by accident -er, happy chance- or some actual THOUGHT), she discovers he's stalking her in her bedroom at night.
- She also teases, which may end up answering the question "How do vampires get hard-ons?" My ideas of tease are not like fandom's, I would think, but then again, venturing too far into that fandom is like walking into the Jaws of Death, so....

* Bella had dreams of a career once... and watching [cable] TV reminds her of them. What does Bella consider being -despite being a vampire, or before, or...? (This one would obviously depend on which book/movie it took place in or between.) Bella as a CSI? A chef? A therapist? (If Carlisle can be a doctor, why couldn't Bella feasibly find a job? Or would her youthful appearance be her downfall in getting one and keeping one -at least, a live, in-person job where she DIDN'T travel, MIGHT be out in daylight, etc.?)

Fic, in this case, is not to show what wasn't seen in canon, nor does it exist to take some fascinating characters and put them in another universe (whether that's another canon or another universe altogether). It's to answer questions or explore characters in ways that SHOULD have been done in canon.

Twilight, thematic messages, and Meyer's injections of LDS lore into the books )

You know what would be awesome? If there was a site (or if FFnet did it) where people had their fics and you could add your real-time commentary as an overlay-- a'la Nico Nico video.

Because seriously, the commentary I'd be leaving on the FFnet section of "Twilight"? So much more worth my time than an actual well-thought out REVIEW in that fandom. I'd get lambasted if I even tried to give what I consider true concrit (which, in my mind, is not a synonym for "endless praise,") and I know it's not worth the effort. But quick-play commentary with full anonymity? I'd tap that. Somebody, make it happen!
Such an idea might come back to bite me in the ass, but I think overall it would help people improve and give those readers who never review a chance to say just WHY they don't usually bother, whether or not they've got more than the usual "LOL UPDATE PLZ" one-liners.
azurite: (azureshipping - love to hate)
So, I haven't updated in what seems like ages (that HSM post doesn't count, because I'd written that more than a week ago and just saved it, hoping for a time when I COULD post it) because The Powers That Be were conspiring against me or something, and Murphy's law was in full effect-- all that jazz. So I decided to start doing something about it.

Keyboard Mayhem! )

Michael Moore is hard to find )

A little lost memory card and some movies )

Noconnectlink )

An HTC Dream G1 deferred )

MELTING, MELTING! and other problems )

Fics that like to f*ck with your brain )

And that, as they say, is that. For now, anyway.
azurite: (all muses are busy...)
Okay, I want to take a ruler and thwap all the people that write HSM fics. I really do. I'm too old to be doing this. I'm too old to be in this fandom. I like it, but when I try to "get into it," the badfic just makes me gag. LITERALLY.

HOW TO WRITE A HALFWAY DECENT HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL FIC (according to Azurite) )
azurite: Part of the "What Doesn't Kill You" series of fanfic icons (wdky (general))
So, it's officially November 1st, and an awful lot of people on this FL know what that means. Once again, any plans I may have had for participating in NaNoWriMo (and me, here in the hometown of NaNo, likely surrounded by places to write and fellow writers!) are sort of... well, up in the air. See, I have no ideas for any full-length novel, and any of my half-baked ideas from years past are still just that: half-baked.

I'd like to do NaNo on my own terms, because hell, it's not like I'd be thinking of submitting a manuscript after NaNo's done.

As I delivered my ballot to the mailbox this afternoon, I thought, "What if I made it my goal to finish WDKY?" Shit, some single chapters of WDKY have been more than 50,000 words. (SRSLY: chapter 7 in both its parts is 46,745 words; chapter 8 is 32,393, and chapter 10 is 50,180! Of course, some of those words are author's notes, but not much of them!) So even if it was just ONE more chapter, it'd be an accomplishment, because it would mean I was updating more than once a year, which has become my pathetically small growth rate for WDKY.

It'd be funny if archives had "growth rates" the way Enthusiast 3 does for fanlistings. I would see something like "Growth rate: 0.005 chapters per day" (actually it'd be less; a chapter a year is a growth rate of 0.0027397, if my calculations are correct) and feel like pond algae. Maybe that's what I need. Some PHP calculator embedded into Dragonfayth so I can hate myself for not updating, and use it as motivation to update before that growth rate slips into the infinitesimally small zone.

Well, here's the thing. First, I'd need to finish WDKY26, because I've had the bulk of that done for some time. You can't work on something that's already partially started, it's against the rules of NaNo! I'd actually be bending that rule a bit, to be working on 10 remaining chapters but not a whole new story.

I think writing a whole new story would doom me, especially with all the other multi-chapter fic ideas in my head. And all the other WIPs, like TJOY.

To make matters worse, rather than working on WDKY26 these past few days, to make "finishing WDKY within NaNo" an even remote possibility, I've been revising "Only 16." Yeah, that ancient fic for a fandom that I'm not even that active in anymore? One of my first fics, and my first multi-chapter fic? Yeah, that one.

THAT ONE.

On the bright side, it is coming along, and it's kind of refreshing to revise that fic, because to be honest, so much of it sucked. It's one thing to leave it up as testament to how far I've come as a writer, or as a fan, or whatever, but I see nothing wrong with constant revisions. If people liked it 10 years ago, they might like it even more now, now that I bother with single point-of-view, forego the plot devices and dues ex machina, and that I expand on stuff to keep it both realistic and in-character.

What to do, what to do? I think I'm going to finish the revisions to "Only 16," chapter 1, publicize that a bit, and GET MY ASS BACK ON WDKY26. Must, must, must. And then see if I can miraculously pull any more chapters of WDKY out. Month or no, it'd be freakin' fantastic not to have another year between updates. I feel like scum for letting that happen with WDKY. Why is it that the multi-chapter fics that I fall in love with and think I plan to the umpteenth detail end up doing that to me? (Only 16 did too, for the record. And the revisions very well might, considering I plan on revising the last part in a major way, but I don't know what "way" that is just yet.)

And of course, school work. Can't neglect that. Have classes to register for in... 23 days, too. Geh. So many deadlines, so little time.
azurite: (all muses are busy...)
Unofficially tagged by [livejournal.com profile] a_white_rain. Sounds like an interesting meme.

Sometimes it's okay to pimp yourself out. Post a list of your top five favorite fics that you've written, regardless of fandom or the reason you love them. This isn't about the BEST things you've written, but what you LOVE most. Then tag five other people to do the same.

Like AWR, I won't tag anyone in specific, but any fic writers on this list, I TAG YOU! Just do eet. (I'd love to see the fic writers on this FL do this. It might be fun to [re-]read fics that I wouldn't expect are the author's favorites.)

Oh, and these are not in top five order, or descending order or anything like that.

Will you LOL? )
azurite: (azureshipping - reflection)
Posting WDKY over at AnimeXX (a German-based fanart and fanfic site, which I'm likely going to migrate to "completely" once I sort the DeviantART mess out) and just a teeny bit of stimulus has gotten me thinking about the series again.

For the uninformed, the massive epic fic is currently at 25 chapters of 36 (37 if you count 7A and 7B as separate chapters). And that's just the first story in the series, "What Doesn't Kill You." There are two planned sequels, "Circle of Seven" and "Eternal Dimension," respectively.

And awful, awful girl that my muse is (I'm being sarcastic here; when she shows up, I love her to pieces. Keyword being when), I got an idea for a spin-off of the third story in the series. Yeah, the one that, while I've got loads of ideas for, has no organization and is not in the least bit written into prose in any size, shape, or form.

On the one hand, I don't WANT to start writing "other fics," even if they're in the same universe as WDKY, because it would distract me from completing this story that I've already got planned out and started. On the other hand, it seems to be my bad habit of trying to write everything in order at once, instead of taking an idea and running with it when I have it-- not just writing out the idea in the planner, but attempting prose while the ideas are churning in my head.

So I wonder, do I start on this spin-off to the third sequel, even though it'll never see the light of the Internet for a very, very long while?

I got two words: OY and VEY.

(Ooh spoiler: the spin-off of the third sequel would be called "Dimensions," but I'm wondering if I ought to call it "Dimensions: (Something Else Goes Here)," because the third sequel actually opens up a LOT of room for other spin-offs, both long and short. Some of them might be interesting to explore, but this first one I'm stewing over really (and almost "unfortunately") has the potential to be multi-chapter. Maybe not 36 chapters, but certainly... oh, 5, at least?

*sigh* If only I lived on DS9 and had more hours in my day.
azurite: (wank - wankicane)
1 - "Eagle Eye" kicks "Body of Lies" ass. Also: Billy Bob Thornton should forever be an action hero. I like him much better that way.

2 - CSI: Season 1 for $20! Target rocks! Now all I need are 7 friends to get me seasons 2-8 on DVD for X-mas/Hanukkah presents (for hopefully that same price and not the rip-off price of $46.95 like they were over at Borders). Also lovely: CSI:NY. I loves me some Mac and Stella.

3 - Heh, my new Nancy Drew game takes place in San Francisco. Half the street names are wrong, but it's funny anyway.

4 - I suck at Diner Dash. Seriously, I can't make it past Level 6 on "Flo on the Go," or Level 5 in "Diner Dash 2."

5 - Thinking about leaving DeviantART. It's seriously starting to suck.

6 - Coming someday in the not-too-distant future: "Astrology, Blood Types, and Yu-Gi-Oh! - Ryuuji Otogi." I don't have my Mystical Cards or EZ-Astrology-Report book here in SF, but I can make do without it. :P

7 - Working on WikiFic and dealing with idiots (who also happen to be minor vandals.) Teh fun!

8 - In just two days of being on the Yu-Gi-Oh! Top 50, "Blue Eyes and Apricots" has soared from #299 on the ranks to #20! WOW! Now I seriously need to update it. I've actually thought of a way to replace the Fanart section, too. What I can't do is make up my mind about the style of the new layout-- dark and autumny, or light and... colorful?

9 - After playing Nancy Drew and reading Skip Beat! #14, I got to thinking that it'd be funny if Kyoko had to do some sleuthing at LME. Moko, of course, would get dragged into it, and there'd be humor (c/o Yashiro and Lory and Kyoko's own antics), potential angst and drama (because it ain't Skip Beat! without Ren and Sho), and maybe even some Vie Ghoul smashing!

10 - I reserved "Star Ocean: First Departure" for the PSP, but since I don't want to buy an Entertainment Pack with the new PSP-3000 and a stupid game I'll never play and a Memory Card I don't need, I think I'll end up waiting until November before buying a standalone PSP-3000. It's agonizing to wait that long when I'll finally have the game in my hands come the 21st, but if I've waited this long, I can wait another month or so.

Filktastic )
azurite: (cat and mouse)
I should also be doing school work (studying, writing my essay, working on my geology assignment), but I can't. This is weird, because it's different from the very distinct lack of motivation I've had before (like in junior year of high school). I want to do the work, but the inspiration, the idea isn't there.

So in the meantime, I'm perusing CSI: NY fics, and I'm noticing there seem to be a great deal of writers from the UK. I can tell because I'm seeing fics chock full of
kerb
tyre
litre
meter
best mate
torch
and stuff like that. I'm usually okay with that sort of thing, because I know what they all mean, but it's still jarring to see it. Why is it that there are Britpickers who'll come down on anyone writing in, say, the "Harry Potter" universe and not using proper British terms, but Americans don't do the same for decidedly American fandoms like CSI?

Would it make us seem stupid to complain?

Thing is, the particular fic I'm reading is from Stella's point-of-view, so I walk into it thinking "this is a story that I'm reading as if Stella herself were talking to me, or if she'd emailed me a transcript that she'd typed out of her week." So I don't expect Stella, an American woman, to spell "curb" as "kerb," or "tire" with a y. It just comes across as awkward.

I mean, it's not as if any of these words are particularly mysterious in their "American" equivalent. You've got
curb
tire
liter (gallon if it's gas, and other varying amounts depending on what else might be discussed, e.g. medicine, blood)
yards/feet
best friend
flashlight

*sigh* My brain's still all muddled and not much is helping. This sucks.
azurite: (csi: gsr wall)
I wonder... does everyone know someone, within six "degrees" or less (e.g. friend of a friend of a... etc.) who is, in some way, involved in every fandom someone could possibly be interested in? That doesn't mean the person needs to be a participant in fandom-- maybe just a lurker who knows of a good site. That's good enough.

Because here I am, and I'm into all these anime and manga fandoms. Most of them are shoujo, some are shonen. Some I've watched and enjoyed, but never contributed anything to fandom for. Some of them I'm a former participant in, others I'm an active participant in.

"Participant" can vary from fandom to fandom, too. For some fandoms, I write fanfiction and/or submit art. For others, I just comment on forums, read fanfics, and so on. For example, I'm highly active and participatory in the anime and manga fandoms, but more of a passive participant within my favorite TV show fandoms like Star Trek, Alias, and more recently, CSI. Sure, I'll read forum postings and check out wikis and the like, but I have yet to write a fic for any of them.

A while ago, I made up my mind not to try and find good fanfic on Fanfiction.net (or its ilk) anymore, except by the following methods:

a) updates from friends or favorite authors that I'd already established on my account as "Favorite Authors"

b) recommendations from those friends toward other writers, whether directly (e.g. Mamono recommended to me via email/PM/LJ comment/whatever that I check out Atlantis2's fics!) or indirectly (Atlantis2 is listed as a Favorite Author on Mamono's profile, or one of Atlantis2's stories is listed as a Favorite Story on Mamono's profile)

So far, that's worked out pretty well for me, except when I'm getting into a new fandom. Unless I'm lucky and I already know of a friend who's in that fandom (e.g. if I ever get into Slayers, I know I can turn to [livejournal.com profile] dqbunny, and if I ever watch Stargate: Atlantis, I know I can pester [livejournal.com profile] mklutz with questions), I have to hunt down "good" sites, communities, C2s, and the like just to find people that might make good friends and therefore good connections to OTHER good people-- good writers, active participants in fandom, whatever.

So, as of right now, my favorite CSIs are in this order:
* CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
* CSI: New York
* CSI: Miami

I've been reading more CSI: NY stuff than any of the others lately, mainly because I think the characters have gripped me more than the Miami cast and because the season premiere for CSI: NY (and Miami) have aired already, while the original CSI has yet to have its Season 9 premiere. You'd think CSI's fandom would be buzzing with activity and fics, but... it doesn't seem like it. I read the winners of the CSI Fic Awards, and that was it.

I think I complained that the CSI: NY wiki sucks, and I wonder if it's because I haven't found a better Wiki for it on Wikia or somewhere else (like the CBS website). It's one of those nagging, disgusted feelings with the State of the Web that would otherwise compel me to do it myself, EVEN THOUGH I'm a n00b to the fandom and other people, more dedicated fans, have been around longer and could almost definitely do it better. It just bugs me that it apparently hasn't been done (to my satisfaction; I guess I am a picky fan) YET.

Fanfiction isn't much better. Does anyone on this FL read CSI: NY fic? I'm in desperate need for some good stuff (esp. Mac x Stella, which I refuse to call SMacKED! because that's... just kind of dumb. I've never liked portmanteau 'ship names or variations thereof), now that I've exhausted the supply of fics by the late great Christina D-- can't spell her last name-- and Banana Tooth.

I wish I could make myself unpicky, but if I read a fic where the dialogue isn't punctuated properly, where words like "your" and "a lot" are misspelled, and where Inspector Gerrard slaps Mac Taylor OPENLY in front of the whole lab, I just... I die a little inside. I have to click back before my stomach stages a revolt and takes me trachea along with it. I can't read fics where some random OC *koff* Mary-Sue! *koff* is paired off with a main character (especially in the CSI 'verses; aren't their lives complicated enough? It's like, if you introduce an OC, make her either a victim or a criminal, not a love interest and/or long-lost relative!). And little things can really bug me, too.... )

And though this makes me a bit of a hypocrite, there'd have to be something REALLY compelling about some part of a story for me to hate it enough to not read it all the way through, not review, but still check out the author's profile in the hopes that they wrote a better story. (I say "hypocrite" because I feel if someone read "Only 16" and thought that fic was the best I could do, I would cry bloody foul. I don't take it offline BECAUSE I've come so much farther than I was when I wrote that, and because SOMEDAY I'd like to revise it and see if I *can* make it better!)

With so many things that knock me out of a fic within the first few paragraphs, I'm really relying on the recs of other great authors (or simply well-read fans within the same fandoms as I) to find some truly good stuff.

So, if you know someone who knows someone who knows someone who writes good CSI fic that's:
* CSI: NY - Mac x Stella or Danny x Lindsay
* CSI: Nick x Sara (Snickers; the closest 'ship name to a portmanteau that I'll tolerate because it's just so durn cute) OR Grissom x Sara (aka GSR)
* CSI: Miami
or is just generally well-written and preferably complete (and it can be gen, crime/drama, but preferably not tragedy or angst) regardless of which CSI it hails from
please let me know!

LET'S SOCIAL NETWORK YAY!
azurite: (sailormoon - venus V)
So, I was checking out DeviantArt activity and saw someone added one of my images to a collection. I checked out the rest of the collection and then got to thinking, "Damn, I've actually designed a lot of Otaku Senshi over the years, I just haven't touched up and scanned their images to upload." Usually my default action then is to create a mock-up in the most up-to-date KiSS doll generator, Sailor X v2.10. It's fun! But not so much when I can't remember what one of my Otaku Senshi looks like, only her backstory.

As many people on this FL may know, my favorite season of the Sailor Moon anime is R. I loves me some angst. It's funny how, back when I first started writing fic, I thought I could never write TAFF (Twisted and Fuzzy Feelings, aka Romance + Angst/Drama). Now it's practically ALL I write.

And they called her Trinity! )

I also found out that I have sketches lying around of...
* Sailor Mirage and her best friend thought-dead, Sailor Lotus
* The Neo Sailor Senshi (an old term now, but a new term when I first came up with what was going to be a webcomic), who look like Senshi in Trek uniforms
* Sailor Cascadia
* Sailor Star Beam and her friends, Sailor Star Sparkle, Sailor Star Blaze, and Sailor Star Crystal (Team Mary-Sue)
* Sailor Nautica (not related to Sailor Nautilus, the one I just posted a DeviantART mock-up of)
* Apsu and Sin from the "Another Story" RPG, plus part of a Radina and a tilted Verna
* Old, old sketches of the Senshi in various outfits I based off ones I saw in a Barbie collectible magazine
* A halfway decent sketch of Usagi/Serenity in a dress covered with butterflies
* A sketch of most of the Senshi in their "Quicksilver"/Neo Senshi uniforms (Mars doesn't have a right hand for some reason; I suck at drawing hands)
AND a bunch of other random drawings, like a zoned-out Mitsuki from Full Moon o Sagashite, some ass-kicking Akanes from Ranma 1/2, a few Hitomis from Escaflowne, a bunch of Téas from WDKY's early planning stages (I went a little crazy with glitter pens there), and even a series of Ranma characters through time, e.g. Shampoo's ancestors, the original "drowned girl" that was the basis for the Nyannichuan, a Tendou girl who resembled Kasumi but was an ass-kicker, etc.

I'm halfway tempted to scan and maybe touch up some of them so I can upload them to DA so my account doesn't look like it's all Sailor Xv2 stuff. :P Thoughts?
azurite: (bunninated!)
So, being that sleeping is elusive and I've read every book and manga in my room backwards and forwards, I decided to opt for reading Ceres: Celestial Legend *again*, since it's good and I've been on a Yuu Watase kick lately anyway AND because before all the "mayhem" went down, I was watching the anime series, which I'd finally completed my collection of on DVD (shoulda bought the collector's edition... D'oh! There's no lyrical subtitling for the songs, the audio track is sometimes off --like, I'll hear the English voice and not the Japanese one, even though I always set it to Japanese audio w/ English subs before selecting "Play"-- and sometimes the timing is off, too).

I finished the series last night. Bawled my eyes out. Watase never fails in that respect; I don't think she's done a single series that I've read/watched (this would include the J-Drama adaptation of "Absolute Boyfriend," even though the similarities to her manga were slim) that DIDN'T make me cry. It's a good thing, though. Her stuff's very thought-provoking.

So, with the hesitation of someone about to step in potentially icy water, I tread into fandom. )
azurite: (blue flower)
Another day and I'm here to tell the tale. Well, not a "tale," but at least I'd be here to tell it if there were one. At least I managed to get some sleep last night. The day before that, when I took that sleeping pill (at 7am), I ended up sleeping nearly 12 hours. That was only HALF a sleeping pill, mind you-- actually, there was more painkiller in the pill than there was sleeping aid! But when I took the other half last night, I slept and woke up within a decent amount of hours.

There were a few times when I heard noises and woke up, but generally everything's been the same as the way it was before all this mess happened. Life's moving on, I need to as well.

Last night was the first time I had a weird dream. Normally the sleeping pills mean no dreams for me, but I had a dream that CSUN was on a train (as in, the school itself was a train... or was on wheels, or something like that) and for some reason, there was a hallway from the library that had two laundry machines. They were right up against some long windows, but the windows were kind of dirty and hard to see out of. There was only one washer and one dryer-- nothing fancy, just the plain ol' white ones you see everywhere. I dreamed I put some laundry in and then went to get my basket, but got lost-- clearly it wasn't just the CSUN's main library on wheels, it was some kind of dream labyrinth. I started to feel sick and went to find the bathroom, and even though I thought I did, when I looked around, I was in a regular train seat, complete with people across the aisle in front of me! I was petrified! I had to get up and find my laundry machine! But then I woke up.

...Very strange. No doubt somehow related to last night's horrific news that two trains collided not too far from my house-- a Metrolink train and a freight train. Already 18 people are dead, over 100 are injured, some in critical condition, and the news reports are saying it's because the Metrolink engineer failed to see the red light on the track. Bzuh? Like my mom suggested when she called this morning, aren't there supposed to be back-up procedures for that sort of situation?

Anyway, since I slept almost all day yesterday, today I'm hoping to get some more card-replacement done. I'm trying to get my life back on track and normal.

If there's any good thing that's come out of this, it's that now I can channel the feeling of "uselessness," and "powerless" into WDKY26. It's bizarrely good timing, considering the chapter content. You know me, I always try inject a bit of emotional realism into my fics, and now WDKY26's going to get it.

Dad called the locksmith that charged us $1500, and they sent a digital invoice so we could clearly see what was so expensive-- each lock was $250. I certainly don't remember anyone (either the estimate agent or the actual locksmith) telling us it would cost that much, and I'm pretty sure if someone had told Grandpa that, I would have heard him yell "WHAT!?" instead of it just happening and us finding out after the fact (and Grandpa "blaming" it on me, as if I asked for the most expensive lock). Hopefully we can either get it covered by the homeowner's insurance or the company can negotiate a lower price, considering the circumstances. Even with all this extra brou-ha-ha, I don't necessarily feel safe in my own home.

I'm hungry.
azurite: (azureshipping - fantastic)
Inspiration is a funny thing. Some people claim to have muses, others don't. Some people "believe" in writer's (or artist's, or whatever) block, other people don't.

In trying to write WDKY26 over the past almost-year (11/7/07, according to the publication date on FFnet), I've tried a number of things to get my tail on the road and writing again. Certain things have worked, other things haven't. I'm sure it's different for everyone, whether they're writing fic, painting portraits, shooting photos, or something else. What works once may not work again, and what doesn't work the first time might work the 367th time, but none of the times in between.

I've actually been managing to write more of WDKY26 in the past few days, but I'm far from satisfied with it. I definitely want some betas to look it over and help me "trim the fat," so to speak. But fat (excess, weird writing) is better than nothing, or better than simple notes from my planner file. At least there's prose, even if it's pointless, non-descriptive prose! A step in the right direction, I think. And what's gotten me here? I wonder if I could make a ranking chart of what's worked well, what's worked only a little bit, and what hasn't worked at all.

I've tried it all:
* Listening to music - works some of the time. It depends on the music. See, I've got a playlist of music for WDKY. A good chunk of it is made up of songs that have directly appeared in the fic, e.g. "Why Can't I?" by Liz Phair, "All The Things She Said" by t.A.T.u, and so on. Those are all chapters in the past, and any music I have for other chapters tends to be UPCOMING chapters-- not the one I'm working on. It's a pain in the neck to be stuck working on one particular scene, but my choice of background music has me thinking of scenes in the not-too-distant-but-still-not-part-of-this-chapter's-future. Every now and again, if I pick a particular artist or just listen to my whole library on shuffle, I'll get lucky and come up with a scene or prose for my current scene that fits with the music. It doesn't always have to be something lyrical, which is why I might try listening to instrumental stuff or other BGMs, like, oh Yu-Gi-Oh!? I mean geez, what better to listen to, really.... But like I said, it only works some of the time.

* Working on some other fic project - Rarely works. If I'm working on another YGO fic, I'll see my own author's notes about how WDKY is my major project, how I want to finish that first, etc. I'll see all the fics I've started when WDKY got stuck, and how ALL OF THEM ARE STILL STUCK. It's the same even if it's a brand-new idea that's never made it to prose form, a challenge (see [livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra's super-belated birthday fic which I can't seem to finagle ANY ideas for!!! ARGH!!), or something else. The guilt will creep up on me and then attack! To be honest, I haven't tried to do much in other fandoms, mainly because my mind just sort of stares at the idea(s) and goes "No comprende." I've been in the Yu-Gi-Oh! fandom since 2003 and have found it very hard to get out of it completely. I don't think I WANT to get out of it completely until at least WDKY is done, let alone the other 2 stories in the saga which I have planners for, but nothing more.

However, it's possible that working on future chapters of the same story/saga might help. Sure, it doesn't get "what I need to get done" done, but it's something. It might help the muse (or whatever) just to get the prose out, even if I end up scrapping it all later (like I did when I was working on Prophecy Girl and TJOY, two other fics that came along the same time as WDKY). I may have mentioned in the past, I already wrote the final scene for WDKY in Ch. 36 AGES ago. Mainly because THAT ONE SCENE was stuck in my head and wouldn't get out until it's written. Lately, it hasn't been one scene, but more like "acts," or snippets of a single scene. Sometimes it's only a sentence to start off, and I have to try and go from there. I don't like writing out of order, because I feel I end up losing my focus, but maybe if I look at it like "organizing my mind," and sorting things away to where they're supposed to be, it can bring the ideas I truly want forward, so I can get working on them.

* Working on some other project - Kinda-sorta works. I recently switched a lot to working on my shrine for RPGClassics, on Star Ocean 3: Till The End of Time. I got a great high out of getting so much done for the thing, but then when I stopped (because it is tedious, is a different kind of work than web design, graphic design, and fic writing), I'd be like "Yeah, but it's still not finished, it's another huge project I've started, and I'm STILL no closer to getting any ideas for WDKY26!" So the feeling of accomplishment dwindled pretty quickly. Plus, actually playing the game might only serve to distract me temporarily, because I'd start getting ideas for that fandom, for more things to do for the shrine, etc. etc. And I'd get frustrated because I couldn't accomplish certain things in THAT game, either (e.g. getting all 100% on Sphere 211's maps, because I'm only 4% away but I can't find where else on the first 5 levels that I could have missed ARGH!!!)

* Looking at related fic ideas/planners, reading previously posted-chapters of the same fic - This seems to have worked the best. I would see something that reminded me of a fic or fic idea, and I'd want to see what I'd written for it. So I'd bring up the file, read the fic or the planner or whatever, and I'd start to think "Hey, this kind of writing style I had back then..." or something like that, and I could switch easily into WDKY26 and start working on it. I might not be satisfied with it, but it's something. But what helped best of all was reading previous chapters. For example, I needed Seto to recall something that had happened in the previous chapter. In order to do that, I needed to read the previous chapter and find an appropriate line. And THAT really helped, because I knew exactly where I was in the continuity of the story, everything that had brought the characters to the point(s) they were at, and what sort of "style" I'd been writing with in the past chapter. I might just re-read the whole fic to see where that gets me.

* Reading other fics in the same vein (e.g fandom, pairing, genre) - Works well, but not spectacularly. I re-read [livejournal.com profile] mmagnet_ff's "The Night Before," because apparently I missed an update to it late in August, and with a fic involving so many flashbacks, I didn't want to forget "when" I was in the story, so I re-read it from the start. It's still deliciously tantalizing, and, like any good fic, had me hypothesizing about what might happen next. Sure, my idea is crazy and bizarre, but it was fun. Dissecting my idea (whether in the context of the fic or not) was fun, and got me brainstorming about WDKY a bit. This was also true of [livejournal.com profile] rose_of_pollux's "Folgen Sie Ihrem Traum," one of the few mystery-genre Seto x Anzu fics in the fandom. I'm definitely coming up with hypotheses for that fic too, but because it's so different a genre and the characterization works differently than my own in WDKY, it doesn't really help me with WDKY so much to read it. But at least it keeps me "in the fandom, in the pairing," seeing how different authors interpret the same characters. It helps to be able to step back from a fic or a chapter after you've read it to "dissect it," so to speak, the way you might a piece of literature for class. I can ask myself "Why did the author choose to phrase it that way?" or "What impact has the chosen perspective and tense choice had on the story flow?" Thinking about a fic critically can help me analyze my own writing in that same manner. I tend to write as the ideas flow-- not write for my audience, not write so that people will "analyze" WDKY in a particular manner, but still-- I have a point, I have a purpose, I have a story to tell. So I tell it, as best I can, and if I re-read it (or other stories), and it leads me to think "Nah, it can be better," at least I have an idea of where to go next.

* Read other books, manga, etc. - Hardly works at all, but it's fun! I read all kinds of novels, from mystery and suspense-thriller to Victorian England romance novels straight from my Baba's "trashy" collection. *grin* Sometimes you can read a story and think "Oh, this would be perfect in a fic verse, starring Character A and Character B!" But I've learned to stop doing that, because it's rarely original. The temptation is there to more or less inject two characters from one fandom into another fandom-- you lose sight of characterization, which is the only thing that makes those characters who they are, recognizable, interesting, and fun! What's the point of putting Seto Kaiba into Anakin Skywalker's shoes and Anzu Mazaki's into Padme Amidala's when everyone KNOWS Anakin and Padme's story, and there's nothing particularly interesting about it that applies to or changes Seto and Anzu? So I wouldn't do it with the intent of getting inspired to work on WDKY or any other already-started fic. But it's a nice break from a fic that seems to bash the insides of my brain into jelly.

What do you do to try and "inspire" yourself? If you've ever been "blocked," how did you get out of it?
azurite: (all muses are busy...)
Sometimes I have days where I feel like the Tasmanian Devil. No, not the real thing (they're kinda funny looking), but the one from Looney Tunes. You know, the one that spun around in circles really fast and went BLAUGH BLAUGH PUUUUZH!

I think this feeling results from my lack of organization. I have a dual attitude about things like messes: on the one hand, "bless this mess," and on the other hand, "BLAUGH BLAUGH PUUUZH!"

I remembered way back (in the "good ol' days"?) that I used MS Access to help with some of my organizational woes, namely organizing my fanfics. That was back when I used a PC. Needless to say, not going back and doing that again-- ever. Really, the only reason I even use Windows these days are for my old favorite games. I don't think I'd ever intentionally buy something meant for Windows if it was productivity-based.

That said, MS Access doesn't exist for the Mac-- at least not for Office 2008. So I looked into other "database programs," and stumbled across Bentō, from the makers of FileMaker Pro (aka a humonguously bloated, super-expensive program that only really rich individuals or hapless businesses might use). I haven't actually fiddled with it yet, but I've watched the tutorials and tours and the one profile that might relate to me (Gabrielle, the student). Of the templates they have included in the program, a few look like they might relate to fanficcing... which is frankly just ONE aspect of my digital disorganization.

Basically, I'm trying to figure out all the components of my digital disorganization.

* School notes (some professors don't like it when you use a laptop to take notes though, so there's no guarantee that, even when I do restart at CSUN in the Spring semester, that I'll be doing this. I want to, though, because I think it's a lot easier to find notes and related class things when they're digital. But the question is, do I let a program organize the files, or do I organize them the way I want? Once upon a time, I HAD to organize everything myself, because Windows never had any sort of intuitive system for organizing things on the fly. As a result, I organized things like pictures and music how I wanted, and I always knew where things were. But now, with so many files, many of them able to be used in numerous ways, my old organization doesn't help much. I need more meta-data. And I have ideas for using things like my school notes in multiple ways, e.g. RSS feeds on a website, keeping track of my "learnings," and maybe helping out classmates. How to keep it all in an easy-to-find place?!)

* Fanfics (For me, fanfics aren't JUST fanfics, e.g. text files or *.html files. They're also planner files, images --what I call "ficart" or sometimes simply things like banners-- and websites. Plus, fanfics themselves have multiple ways of being organized, and the hard part is remembering them all: fandom, pairing, genre(s), number of chapters... am I forgetting anything?)

* Websites (The mother of all monsters on my hard drives. I have a favorited folder I call "Sites" which has everything I ever intend to upload anywhere on it. I thought doing it this way --regardless of where I was uploading it: to .Mac, CSUN, or my own domain-- would keep me organized, but instead I'm left floundering-- files that I want to publish may not always be in website folders, like school/class notes, CSUN clubs/orgs, or images I want to use in layouts. When I want to design a new layout, I have folders upon folders of downloaded templates, but they're more or less organized by NAME, so unless I have Finder set to view Thumbnails, that doesn't really give me a good idea of what the final LAYOUT looks like. Plus, I don't think I have a single "completed" website; it'd be nice to have a "to-do" list for each website so I know what I have left to add and how to go about doing it.)

So, any ideas? Do any other Mac users on this FL use Bentō, and if so, how? And if not, do you use anything for organization? What? (And is it cheap or free?)
azurite: (disney - belle)
Okay, so to celebrate the upcoming release of the third "The Little Mermaid" movie on DVD August 26th, I'm re-watching some of my favorite Disney animated features, starting with "Beauty and the Beast." I'm going to issue a special "The Little Mermaid" challenge closer to the DVD release, but this one is a B&B challenge for any fellow Disney fans out there:

The Prince discovered too late that the old woman with the rose was in actuality a beautiful enchantress. Thanks to Belle, he was able to lift her curse and live again as a human... but what if the Prince and Belle met the Enchantress again?

Remember how, in B&B, the curse was lifted without the Enchantress actually being present? In the musical version of B&B (at least the shortened musical over at Disney's Hollywood Studios), the Enchantress re-appears to lift the curse. Since we don't see that in the movie, it's not technically canon, so... what if Belle (at the very least) met the Enchantress another way?

Rules:
* Set in the movie-verse, not the fairy tale, Broadway musical, Kingdom Hearts, etc. But for the first movie (feel free to disregard the direct-to-video 'midquels' if you don't plan on using them), the version you choose can either be the original theatrical release or the extended DVD version (which has a new scene, if you're talking about the first movie).
* At least Belle and/or the Beast/Prince has to meet the Enchantress. In other words, it doesn't count if just Lumiére or Cogsworth does.
* Can take place during the events of any of the currently-released B&B movies (the first theatrically-released one, the second direct-to-video, "Belle's Enchanted Christmas," or the third, also direct-to-video, "Belle's Magical World") or after-- but NOT before
* Should be at least 100 words (drabble-length) or longer
* If the Prince is to have a name, you can name The Prince whatever you want (but supposedly his official name is "Adam.")
* Can be any rating (using MPAA ratings, G through NC-17 is fine)

Comment to this post at any time with a link to your fic (on LJ or another site, so long as it's not password-protected, Friends-Locked, or requires registration, unless it's NC-17-rated) between now and August 26th!
azurite: (good in bed)
In order of appearance:

FanLib's going to disappear, as everyone predicted it would when it first made its bright, shiny appearance some 15 months ago (or so). I think it improved a whole lot since the wankfest first started, which is why I bothered to sign up against it, but I'm not crying over the loss. It's not like half the stuff there is any good anyway, whether that's writers or readers/reviewers. Anyone I did bother to read there I knew from other sites, namely this one, DA, and/or Fanfiction.net.

The thing that sucks is that they didn't just come out and say why they're going under, nor did they invite discussion of the topic on their homepage. Everyone on fandom_wank says it's because they're out of their $3 million (srsly!?) investment, which wouldn't surprise me, but since I haven't seen any sort of official statement regarding the "why," I'll take that with a grain of salt.

Twilight - Cause for fangirls of all ages to be bitches, mainly because the poor sap who's playing Edward in the upcoming movie is "hot." Me? I haven't heard anything good about the book series OR the upcoming movie, but my roommate (who is a few months older than me) got into the series via her (14-year-old) sister. She admits that the series is targeted toward a younger audience than even Harry Potter (thus making both her and her sister part of that oddball crowd of fangirls), but she likes it so far, as it's a "simple read." I cringed a bit when reading the back cover, but don't dare to actually explore beyond that (yet?).

Why? Well, I went to the Anaheim Public Library tonight after work and finally got myself some other books: two on the craft of writing (one's a standby favorite on the Middle Ages, which I use as a great reference for "The Rose Chronicles"), one dark rewrite of "Snow White" and other fairy tales (love those sort of stories!) and one Myst novel (because I've never read them and I thought it was high time I ought to). Oh, and a High School Musical book.

High School Musical - So, working at Disneyland means I see this High School Musical stuff every day, and I often dealt with (child) Guests who would come up to me screaming about how HOTTTTTT Troy is (If I had to pick between Zac Efron and Robert Pattinson or whatever his name is -even if he was in Harry Potter before- I'd pick Zac any day of the week. The other guys IS somewhat cute and has nice eyes/hair/smile, etc. but Zac just seems... well, more human. And this is my impression of Rob based off an interview where he WAS NOT in Vampire!Mode) and I would have NO idea what they were going on about. I took a glance at the Junior Novel and decided that it sounded fluffy enough for me to warrant getting the movie as soon as it came back into our Clubhouse rentals, so I grabbed it as soon as it did. And... it's pretty darn catchy! The acting isn't half-bad, either, which is saying something, especially when you look at some of the other Disney Channel stuff (*cough*Camp Rock*cough*) So I got the second one too, and I like it a lot! I'm really looking forward to HSM3 coming out on the silver screen in October, and I'm betting I'll get a first-hand look at some of the merchandise before it hits the shelves, too! :D

That said, I'm already half-in the fandom, but in the way a cat might be in a bathtub-- one paw in, hackles raised. At FFnet alone, the tripe level is at an all-time high; people can't seem to summarize AT ALL in the HSM section (and again, this is FFnet, so that's saying something!, and they confuse the real-life actors with their characters, so you'll often see pairing portmanteaus like Zanessa or Zashley. Uh, hello, people? Zac =/= Troy, Vanessa =/= Gabriella, and so on and so forth! Let these people have lives outside their movies, please! Besides, RPF isn't even allowed on FFnet! (If everything that was RPF got taken off there, I'm sure 75% of the section would be gone.)

But for every 100 or so horrible fics, there might just be one good fic (emphasis on the might there). I've already read a few, but usually once I do, I discover one of two things:
* I can get through the author's other good HSM fics (assuming there are any) rather rapidly, even if they're multi-chapter; I'm still left wanting more
* If the author DOES have other HSM fics, they suck, and then I'm back to square one; it's one of those "rare moments of genius" circumstances, and then I don't know what to tell the author that, moments ago, I'd been praising and now want to thwap with a Clue-By-Four

That's a dangerous place to be in, mind, because it's got me thinking "I could do better than these people!" Especially with writing challenges like those of ZAAngels (or something like that), which explore topics that Disney will NEVER EVER do, e.g. how Gabriella officially became Troy's girlfriend (because at the end of HSM1, they were just "best friends," and by HSM2, they were quite clearly in a romantic relationship, broke up, and got back together again in time for HSM3), or Troy and Gabriella's first time. ^_~
azurite: (aries)








For the ladies: Like [livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra, my gift to you (albeit early) is something of your choice, be it fic or art. Just give me some sort of prompt or specifications and I'll try to get it to you, if not by the day of your birthday, then within a few days of it. Just remember to be as specific as possible, and to stick with fandoms (where applicable) that I know. :)

For the gent: Get yer butt down here (with enough advance notice, mind) and you'll get into Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure for free, that's my present! Oh, and I suppose I'll treat you to a Supreme Cupcake. It comes with a free plastic ring, for exspecial coolness. :D

For everyone who isn't Guardian Kysra )
azurite: Part of the "What Doesn't Kill You" series of fanfic icons (wdky (general))
I haven't done review replies in a while, and you might think that because I have the ability to use FFnet's new Review Reply option, I would take advantage of it. However, the thing with the FFnet Review Reply is that they are private, not posted anywhere on the site. With these, not only can you see which reviews I took special notice of, but which ones asked pertinent enough questions for me to answer. As always, keep your eyes peeled for interesting information or secret spoilers!

Note: I do not post all reviews that I receive here; only the ones that I feel I should reply to. For all reviews, I do NOT edit them for content/spelling/etc. in any way.

For lengthier reviews, I will insert my commentary where appropriate. The actual review will resume in italicized text.

If more reviews come in for this (or any older) chapter(s), then I will respond to them at the BOTTOM of this page, and indicate a “last updated” section here at the TOP. If there is no LAST UPDATED area, that means this post has not changed since the original post date.

Reviews! )
azurite: Part of the "What Doesn't Kill You" series of fanfic icons (wdky10)
I haven't done review replies in a while, and you might think that because I have the ability to use FFnet's new Review Reply option, I would take advantage of it. However, the thing with the FFnet Review Reply is that they are private, not posted anywhere on the site. With these, not only can you see which reviews I took special notice of, but which ones asked pertinent enough questions for me to answer. As always, keep your eyes peeled for interesting information or secret spoilers!

Note: I do not post all reviews that I receive here; only the ones that I feel I should reply to. For all reviews, I do NOT edit them for content/spelling/etc. in any way.

For lengthier reviews, I will insert my commentary where appropriate. The actual review will resume in italicized text.

If more reviews come in for this (or any older) chapter(s), then I will respond to them at the BOTTOM of this page, and indicate a “last updated” section here at the TOP. If there is no LAST UPDATED area, that means this post has not changed since the original post date.

Reviews! )
azurite: (azureshipping - fantastic)
I haven't done review replies in a while, and you might think that because I have the ability to use FFnet's new Review Reply option, I would take advantage of it. However, the thing with the FFnet Review Reply is that they are private, not posted anywhere on the site. With these, not only can you see which reviews I took special notice of, but which ones asked pertinent enough questions for me to answer. As always, keep your eyes peeled for interesting information or secret spoilers!

Note: I do not post all reviews that I receive here; only the ones that I feel I should reply to. For all reviews, I do NOT edit them for content/spelling/etc. in any way.

For lengthier reviews, I will insert my commentary where appropriate. The actual review will resume in italicized text.

If more reviews come in for this (or any older) chapter(s), then I will respond to them at the BOTTOM of this page, and indicate a “last updated” section here at the TOP. If there is no LAST UPDATED area, that means this post has not changed since the original post date.

Reviews! )
azurite: (all muses are busy...)
Today was a pretty good day at work, considering it was the 4th, and I expected it to be way busier. But maybe everyone was over at Disneyland, or out seeing violent action films. (BTW, I saw "Wall-E" and loved it; haven't seen "Hancock," but want to, and of course will be getting my advance tickets for the earliest possible showing of "The Dark Knight" over at Downtown Disney as soon as I can find the time to swing by there... maybe tomorrow afternoon, before I work my first shift Southside.) I got my special Cast Exclusive 4th of July 2008 pin, and quite honestly Pin Trading can be a very expensive, addicting habit. Just getting the free cast ones is tempting me to get a lanyard, maybe eventually get of the few pretty ones I like, such as the rare Mulan ones, some of the Hidden Mickey Tink ones, etc... but no! I'm broke and can't afford it! BAD! BAD!

What I can afford to do is set aside an hour of my time -maybe not every night, but perhaps every night, and at least once a week- for what I'll call the "Ficcing Hour." I'm sick of the fact that I have so many ideas and even though I spend a good amount of time on my computer, I don't feel that it's productive time, or time well-spent. Hell, I'm behind on my FL here on LJ, and why? It's not as if I've been swamped with my Disney classes (I haven't started the Harvard track of my choice yet). I'm actually going to start on the aforementioned class (I've selected the Harvard "Creativity" track) now, but of course, stupid Disney/Harvard (I'm assuming it's more Disney than Harvard... at least, I would hope so) only likes IE. Not Safari, not Firefox, JUST IE. -_- Words cannot convey the "headdesk" I am feeling right now. But I want to be ficcing.

More importantly, I want to be getting fics DONE. It's not enough to spend an hour perusing planner files, or waxing nostalgic about old fics (which should be rightly renovated), or even writing review replies. That's not fostering any creativity, and that's not getting any of my fics "done" or "out there." So, I hereby declare that I will spend a MINIMUM of one hour each week for the duration of this summer (as humanly possible) writing fanfiction.

This fanfiction may be:
* Chaptered fanfiction
* Oneshot fanfiction
* Previously-written/completed fanfiction that needs revision (e.g. Only 16)
* Previously-started fanfiction that was not completed (that includes chapters of a story, e.g. WDKY, TJOY, PG, etc. or a rough draft that never made it to "chapter" status)
* Brand-new fanfiction (e.g. from planner files that never made it to rough draft status, challenges, prompts, or similar "on the fly" writing)

This SHALL NOT INCLUDE:
* Creating "apocrypha" like soundtracks, fanart, icons, banners, etc. It has to be writing, it has to be prose (no poetry -as if I'd ever write any- and no screenplays/scripts -see previous statement)
* Writing new or adding to existing planner files
* Time spent researching and/or distracted by other things, e.g. iTunes songs, web pages, instant messages (in fact, during the "Ficcing Hour" I will either be off my instant messenger or have an away message indicating what I'm doing and why I won't respond. You can probably gauge when I'll be back based on the "Away Since:" time that everyone probably has access to)
* Reading emails, including reviews, beta feedback, etc.
* Writing emails or review replies, LiveJournal posts, or begging messages to various people to be my beta (again)

I hereby also declare that, if I begin my hour working on one thing, but find myself "stumped" or otherwise unable to complete the portion of a particular project that I have started on (e.g. the most recent scene I've written in WDKY26), I shall:
a) write a different scene in the same chapter, if it is a chaptered story
b) write a different chapter in the same story, even if that chapter is way far away
c) work on a prequel, sequel, or other prose story that is "related to" the current project, SO LONG AS IT IS FANFICTION, and not any of the aforementioned "apocrypha"
d) work on a brand-new fanfiction, whether it comes from a planner file, ideas list, prompt, challenge community, or elsewhere
e) work on some other fanfiction, including completed work that needs to be revised

Finally, I declare that this "writing" may be done either by hand (old-fashioned paper and pen/pencil) or on a computer, using any appropriate, accessible program (most likely Dreamweaver). It shall NOT be done via instant messenger, LJ, forum/bulletin board, or any other non-text-based "word processing" program, such as a browser, etc.

Signed this day of 5 July, 1:49 A.M.
--Azurite
azurite: (Default)
Remember that meme from a while ago where I had a list of fandoms, and people put two or more of them together, and I wrote a crossover fic for them? Well, this is a different take on that.

I've selected 10 fandom crossovers. Pick one and write a ficlet for it, either in the comments or in your journal (and link to it in a comment). Then, post a similar list in your journal, featuring AT LEAST ONE of the fandoms from my list, and I'll do the same for you.

1. Indiana Jones x Yu-Gi-Oh!
2. Iron Man (movie) x Yu-Gi-Oh!
3. Pirates of the Caribbean (movies) x Sailor Moon (anime, manga, or live action)
4. Kingdom Hearts x Star Ocean: Till The End of Time (or Star Ocean: The Second Story)
5. Enchanted x Yu-Gi-Oh!
6. Star Wars (movies) x Star Ocean: The Second Story (or Star Ocean: Till The End of Time)
7. Kingdom Hearts: The Missing Characters (introduce characters from fandoms that SHOULD be in Kingdom Hearts, but aren't/are under-represented/strangely missing even though other members of the fandom are there, e.g. Rinoa, Giselle, more of Tifa or Mulan, characters from upcoming Disney movies like "The Princess and the Frog" or "Rapunzel" etc.)
8. Chronicles of Narnia x Any animated Disney film with a Disney "Princess" in it (note: characters like Alice from Alice in Wonderland can count as a "Princess" even if they're not "Princess" in title, or part of the "official Disney Princess" line-up, e.g. the way Mulan sometimes is)
9. National Treasure x Yu-Gi-Oh!
10. Atlantis: The Lost Empire x Yu-Gi-Oh! (or Indiana Jones)

Yeah, I know, most of them are Yu-Gi-Oh, but I wouldn't have done that if I didn't see great potential. I hope at least one of these gets taken up; I'd love to see what some people come up with for me to do!
azurite: (blue flower)


Your Gemstone Says...



You are stable, strong, and full of life. You are an inspiring person.

People turn to you first for leadership and advice.

You are able to gently help people get to where they need to be.

And while you aren't afraid to lead when necessary, you are never heartless or bossy.



So, turns out any Kingdom Hearts data I had on my PS2 memory cards must have been on the ones I lost on the way back from Japan. I restarted my game tonight, and with the help of Megan, one of my roommates, we got as far as the final boss in Wonderland. It's a pain in the butt boss though, what with those sticks it keeps setting on fire... I run out of magic so fast, and it never seems to douse them... I suppose I could train in the Rabbit Hole a bit more, though.

I posted the latest chapters of WDKY up at FanLib, finally; it's been a pain in the neck because FL strips horizontal rules out of HTML submissions, which means I have to re-insert graphical ones (hence my asking for dividers/separators/lines/bars/rules whatever they're called) wherever I remember the scene break should be. And I still haven't done it for ALL the chapters yet, but it's tiring work, so I'm leaving it as is-- for now.

I also finished my Fandom 411 for the No Hiatus FanLib blog, which Cyn told me will be up by next week-- yay! I rec'd fics by [livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra, [livejournal.com profile] obabscribbler, and [livejournal.com profile] winterwing3000, the 3 people I know for sure are on FL and posted something. BTW, Scribbler, I've discovered you can easily go back and edit your stories in something akin to FFnet's Quick Edit manager over at FanLib-- just click "Edit" on your story's "box" when you're viewing your profile, and you can tinker with it there. I'm sure if you fix the formatting before next week, you'll have a lot more readers/reviewers for your fic that's there. :)

Re-reading WDKY while posting it up at FL has got me straining to finish chapter 26 soon. Volunteers for betas and pre-readers gladly welcomed.

By the way, the sole reason why I'm even up right now is "practice" for Saturday and Sunday, when I have training shifts from 4:00 and 3:30pm (respectively) until MIDNIGHT. I need to figure out how to stay bright-eyed and bushy-tailed till at least 1am if this ends up being something on a regular basis (which I doubt, what with the whole PARK CLOSING AT 8PM!)
azurite: (fandom destroyed my social skills)
Okay, fanits, a note:

If you find a beautiful fanart on Google Images (or wherever!)and decide to use it for your FanLib story image, GIVE CREDIT TO THE ORIGINAL ARTIST. It's easier than it sounds. See, all you have to do is click on that lovely link that says "Original Webpage" and then you can see if the page says something like "My Fanart, (c) 2008 by Your Name Here" or something else, like "by Jane Doe, (c) 2007." The best thing to do is ask Jane if you can use her artwork on your story-- ask via email, if you can find one, or other contact messages left in the web page, like an IM name or a LiveJournal link where you can PM them.

If you can't find such a thing and/or you're too gung-ho and use the image anyway, at least provide the name and URL of the original page where you got it somewhere in your Author's Notes. Seriously, IT'S NOT THAT HARD.

This concept of crediting the people who originally create something is not NEW. People have been using disclaimers to supposedly fend off hoards of evil lawyers frothing at the mouth for decades. Disclaimers don't really stop lawyers from issuing C&Ds if they feel like it, but it's very nice to know that some people care that fanfiction or fanart means just that: it's FAN-created, not wholly original, and has its roots in someone else's work. It's nice to credit that someone who inspired you so, don't you think?

The same concept applies to fic and art: would you like it if someone took YOUR fic or YOUR art and put it up somewhere else. Wouldn't you like them to at least mention your name and where they got it from, even if they didn't ask you originally?

I'm not talking about out-and-out plagiarists here, who take things like art and stories and pretend that said creations are theirs. But technically, if you don't SAY something isn't yours, you're NOT claiming that it isn't. Thus, if you use someone else's art and don't credit them, you're stealing. You're "plagiarizing" their work. And not only is that not nice, it can get you seriously fucked up the ass in fandom. Especially defensive fandoms who really love their fellow fen.

I'd say Yu-Gi-Oh is definitely one of them. We may have splinter groups of people who either don't know the BNFs of one area or another (or if they do, they don't know enough to care, which is fine; it's like that in a lot of fandoms), but that doesn't mean you mess with the people who ARE close friends with one another.

I'm just hoping this (because this IS a real situation, and this is a real "letter" to someone who will probably never read it) will blow over quickly and easily, without any whining. FanLib's far from being perfect, but they do have at least a system in place for reporting people that use images or stories without authorization. They also seem to respond faster than FFnet does (which means they actually respond AT ALL).

Another note: There is no such thing as Yu-Gi-Oh Season 0. There is also no such thing as Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Shadow Games. If you spent a split second looking at the freaking ORIGINAL a.k.a. Toei series, you would realize a few things:
(1) It is based off the early manga, therefore it is much more violent, uses different wording for many things, and different colors, characters, and much, much more.
(2) It has no subtitle. It is simply "Yu-Gi-Oh." PERIOD. END OF STORY.
(3) There is no such thing as a "Season 0" for any show. There are unaired pilots, cut episodes, deleted scenes, etc., but there is no Season 0.

A completely different studio released a completely different SERIES of Yu-Gi-Oh, before the creation of the show that we all know and typically recognize as "Yu-Gi-Oh!" Said show has never been (and plans have never been announced so that it will ever be) released outside Japan. It will probably NEVER be officially licensed and dubbed into English, at least not by any of the current license holders. It has NO CONNECTION WHATSOEVER to the show we call "Yu-Gi-Oh!" other than in name and via a few characters. The show that got licensed and dubbed all across the globe, the series that led to the spinoffs/sequels GX and 5D's, the show that inspired the Yu-Gi-Oh OCG and eventually the TCG is called Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters. The spin-off is Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters GX.

The only animated show that does not have "Duel Monsters" in its title is the newest, 5D's, and that's not because they don't play Duel Monsters (they do!), but because it's been over a DECADE since the start of the second series animation, so most people have long since stopped associating Yu-Gi-Oh! (the Toei series) with the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise as a whole.

STOP CALLING TOEI'S YU-GI-OH! SERIES EITHER OF THESE TITLES. THEY ARE WRONG AND ONLY SERVE TO CONFUSE PEOPLE UNNECESSARILY. Call it what it is: Toei's Yu-Gi-Oh. PERIOD. It's FOUR freakin' letters, and not that hard to remember.

That is all. Move along, move along.
azurite: (snark or smut)
Ganked from [livejournal.com profile] obabscribbler

Reply to this with the title of your favourite fanfic of mine. No need for an explanation or a reason for your choice unless you want to give one. Then post this in your LJ and find out for yourself which of your works makes others' hearts beat faster.
azurite: (ygo: size matters (boobs!))
More on Scribbleshipping (Anzu x Zell, coined in honor of [livejournal.com profile] obabscribbler who came up with the prompt and the pairing that started this madness):

I'm not sure whether to slant this as a Yu-Gi-Oh fic or an FF8 one. Truth be told, with my recent involvement in both fandoms, it could go either way. In fact, I could do it "-side" style, where one chapter focuses on one side (e.g. the Yu-Gi-Oh! side, with Anzu), and then another chapter either focuses on the same events from the other side (the FF8 side, with Zell) or simply from the other side, but at a different point in the continuity.

As of right now, I see it starting as Zell's POV, because it leaves a bit of mystery as to what led Anzu to getting to that world, what she's thinking/feeling, etc. But once she and Zell meet again and he gets to know her better, why not start delving into her POV? On the one hand, it's what feels right to me, and I want to do it the way my gut instinct tells me. On the other hand, I'm more comfortable not just writing from Anzu's POV, but from the YGO fandom side, from the girl's point of view in ANY fandom (I can't draw guys, so why the heck should I be able to properly characterize them in writing, let alone write AS them, or using their voice?). I wonder if I'm up to the challenge of characterizing a GUY as my protagonist for at least a good chunk of this, especially one I've only recently gotten familiar with?

I've also started pondering oneshot parodies (a bit like "out-takes," if you will), because [livejournal.com profile] obabscribbler mentioned that a good fic has a blend of all the best genres-- in other words, dramas that are loaded with conflict and action and maybe a twist of romance and/or angst ALSO should have some funny. I don't think I do funny so well, but the scenes I've been envisioning that COULD be funny border on the OOC or the downright "How the hell did this happen!?" (As in, "Dude, where's my context!?")Thus, out-takes. Maybe.

I came up with an idea for the over-arching plot that can make good use of humor (for a while, anyway), angst (because hell, Kaiba's there, and with him, why not?), and action/adventure (because let's face it, that's at the core of FF8), and also calls back to ANOTHER fandom (sorta-kinda) that I'd never mention but would make me giddy if people ended up guessing (and getting it). But of course, no clues could possibly be given until I actually started writing the true fic-- the prompt ficlet not withstanding, because that had no semblance of an over-arching plot in it. This plot has the potential to be even more demonically evil than the one I've been plotting for WDKY. But that also means it could end up flopping like a Fastitocalon-F on a beach after a battle with a GF. :P (Part of me is also sick of keeping all the juicy plot twists to myself, too. Since it seems to be impossible for me to withhold posting a fic until it's DONE --that is, NOT doing a WIP--, maybe I should just give up on the whole idea of keeping evil author secrets for this one, huh? I could always give out plot details in single sentences, thereby still being evil but also being nice. Like a tortured villain, I am.)

What makes all this suck is how I have a final tomorrow evening, a revision due tomorrow and TWO ESSAYS LEFT TO WRITE before Thursday and I feel like I should be writing fic instead. Argh.
azurite: (blue flower)
So, [livejournal.com profile] obabscribbler? I've decided to name Anzu x Zell "Scribbleshipping" in your honor.

...No, I'm not really going to try and submit a crossover pairing to the [livejournal.com profile] shippers_club, nor am I going to start using that anywhere and everywhere, but I just think it's so cute. In my head, that's the name.

That said, I ended up moving the idea for that fic you inspired me for (which, by the way, is tentatively titled "The Aftermath of Angels") into its own planner file. Note that I only do that when it gets LOOOOONG. I can't tell you how long the planner is so far in pages, but in terms of kilobytes, it's 54K at the moment. Of course, the planner isn't complex-- there are no pictures, no fancy calendars, just boring old CSS. And yet, with all that text, it's 54K. I'm not sure whether I should be :D or D:

(And I know you didn't specify Anzu & Zell romantically in your prompt from a while ago, but it halfway ended up there with what I wrote already, and I'll be honest: the fic planner is certainly looking more Scribbleshipping than Azureshipping ATM. SHOCK!!!)

I only wish there were a way to have an Anzu x Zell icon without it looking bizarre (this is what happens when you cross anime with video games).

In other news, today's ENGL 313 - Pop Culture final wasn't so bad. I think I did pretty well, all things considered, though I may have messed up the source of one of the reading passages-- I wrote it as being de Certeau when I think it was Fiske. Oh well. :P I also didn't get my Fandom Essay back yet, because he was grading it right as I walked up and turned my Blue Book in. So I'll have to get it from him on his office hours on Wednesday. But generally speaking, I think I'll do the best in that class.

The girls and I are going to get together on Sunday (ah, my last day here in Northridge-- until January 3rd, anyway) for Margeaux's belated birthday (she's one of the girls in my ENGL 313 class that I've been working with) and just a general "YAY WE DID IT!" celebration.

I tried to sell back my textbooks-- one of them I paid over $75, and the campus bookstore doesn't want more than $8 for any ONE of them. WHAT THE HELL!? So I immediately put them on Half.com. Let's hope they sell, and sell soon (so I don't have to bring them to Anaheim or ask Baba and Grandpa to mail them for me).

Work was crazy today-- I almost ran out of breath for all the calls I was taking. Thankfully tomorrow's no final, but that doesn't mean I don't have things to do-- I still have my radical revision to write by Wednesday evening, plus two essays by Thursday! YIKES!

But today I just took it easy when I got back from work-- I played some more FF8, got Doomtrain (DOOOOOOM TRAIN!), upgraded Irvine's weapon (FINALLY! Freakin' Steel Pipes are so hard to get...!), and played a BUNCH of Triple Triad. I finally got the Pandemona and Zell cards in Balamb; next is to play the Card Queen, but I don't like her Direct Rule of trading... very risky business! It's not as if she has really strong cards (from what I could tell), but still, I don't want to lose any of my GF cards... I'd rather WIN some from her! Ehehehe. Next up: playing her again (without losing any GF cards; good thing I saved before I played her), playing Piet to get Alexander, playing Caraway to get Rinoa and Martine to get Ifrit (back), and playing Laguna to get Squall. Triple Triad's a heck of a lot easier than Sphere Break or Blitz Ball, I'll tell ya that much!

Tiiiired.
azurite: (bad grammar. no cookie!)
I just finished reading "Bless Me, Ultima" the other day, and it's often reviewed and celebrated as being one of the best pieces of Chicano literature out there. So of course, the pages are liberally sprinkled with Spanish. Not all of them are translated within context, mind you-- I had to look up the meanings of many words to really understand just what it was some of the characters were saying.

Now, I know there's a difference between published literature and fanfiction, but in terms of writing in general, why is it acceptable to use foreign languages (e.g. that of a character who is speaking or thinking) in literature, but not in fanfiction? Why does the use of Japanese in an anime fanfic (assuming said fic's canon takes place in Japan... maybe Yu-Gi-Oh! or Sailor Moon, for example) make it "Fangirl Japanese?"

I understand practically every language in the world will have a number of words that don't translate perfectly to English. Even if there is a passable English equivalent, that doesn't mean it'll "sound right" in the context of a particular character speaking/thinking, or in a particular situation.

For example, it's always awkward in Sailor Moon fic when you're trying to emphasize how Usagi's English isn't so great. How can you do that where the reader will understand Usagi's struggle, but the words she says still aren't properly constructed?

I was just as guilty as the next "fangirl" of using Japanese back in the day, but I stopped after
a) I learned Japanese
b) I learned more about writing
c) I realized that most Japanese words and expressions have a perfectly good equivalent in English and, at the time, there was no plausible reason NOT to use the English equivalent

I wonder if there might be certain words that are fine to use in the original Japanese, because they don't really translate over as well as people think. I know off the top of my head that miko and kami fit the bill to me-- a "miko" isn't EXACTLY a priestess, and "kami" isn't a god-- not exactly, anyway. Plus, the honorifics don't translate over perfectly: "-san" is not = Mr. or Ms., "-sama" is not = Lord or Lady/Master or Mistress/etc. and many of the others (-dono, -chan, etc.) don't even have anything REMOTELY close to it in English!

So, what's your opinion? When might it be okay to use Japanese --without it being of the "fangirl" variety?
azurite: (Bunninated!)
[livejournal.com profile] obabscribbler, this is all your fault. That little ficlet you requested of Anzu and Zell (a Final Fantasy VIII and Yu-Gi-Oh! crossover) started out... somewhat simply enough. Zell reminded me of Jounouchi, so I wanted to channel that early scene from Vol. 1 of the manga, except Anzu's reasons for telling Zell (via ketchup on a hot dog, rather than a burger) to "TELL AND YOU DIE!!" would be vastly different than Jounouchi's.

And then an idea started to grow. I don't know, do you think he's her type? )
azurite: (sailormoon - double trouble minako & usa)
[livejournal.com profile] obabscribbler rec'd a fic that was done by [livejournal.com profile] edmondia for this meme. The meme interests me, and I need to get the brain juices flowing, so let's do this.

Crossover Meme

Choose 10 fandoms. Post the list and have your friends pick combinations. Write a drabble ficlet crossover featuring these fandoms.


1. Sailor Moon
2. Yu-Gi-Oh
3. Final Fantasy X/X-2
4. Final Fantasy VIII
5. Skip Beat
6. Kitchen Princess
7. Full Moon o Sagashite
8. Star Ocean 3 (Till The End of Time)
9. Star Ocean 2 (The Second Story)/EX
10. Full Metal Panic

So you, dear commenter, can pick two of the above fandoms, and I shall write a ficlet for them. I can't guarantee that it'll be a legitimate 100 word drabble, hence the word "ficlet" instead.
azurite: (Bunninated!)
I'm not sure just why I decided to buy Final Fantasy VIII from Amazon.com just a few days before my birthday. Why THAT game, out of all the bazillions of other items at Amazon? I have no clue. I'm not sure what prompted my thinking of it, but now that I've got it and have been playing it (I've had it for about 10 days, and am already on Disc Three; I just got Rinoa back from the Sorceress Memorial), I'm addicted. I already know what's going to happen (of course), mainly because the story got so good that I looked up stuff on the Wikia, started to read fanfiction (Squinoa all the way!) and watched a few AMVs + the ending sequence.

But still, some elements confuse me. I'm not sure if they'll get explained away by the time I finish playing the game, because even the Wikia doesn't have a perfect explanation. For example, the whole Sorceress Power thing.

In which I hypothesize )

So, besides [livejournal.com profile] obabscribbler who here has seen Monty Oum's "Dead Fantasy"? It's a FANTASTIC fan-made video of Yuna and Rikku from FFX-2, Tifa from FFVII: Advent Children, Rinoa from FFVIII (can you tell I already love her to bits?), and Kairi from Kingdom Hearts II taking on a number of girls from the Dead or Alive series (though one girl from Ninja Gaiden makes an appearance). It's an awesome, awesome fighting vid-- actually, there's two parts now, with more coming soon...



So anyway, I've watched this, oh, maybe five or six times now, and a few days ago, I get hit with a FIC INSPIRATION. I went hunting for FFVIII fic anyway, to bide the time when I'm not playing the game (though I have much better things to be doing with my time, FFVIII is so nice and shiny and distracting), but to be honest, there wasn't much that sounded good. I read a few (really long) really good stories, but they were WIPs, so that was that. I'm just waiting for more... oneshots are nice, too, but it'd be fabulous to find a really long fic that's COMPLETED! And good. I must have me some "good," which translates to "like the game." In other words, drama! Action! And for me almost most-importantly ROMANCE! Because heck, probably why I like the FFs that I do is because of the romance. FFVIII I'm liking more because it's promised to end HAPPILY, unlike some other FFs I know. FFX was a disappointment for me in that respect, even though I loved the other elements (3D! My god, I could NOT play FFVII because of how hideous the polygonal characters looked. Give me sprites or at least humanoid renderings-- not... whatever those creepy things in FFVII were! Redo the game, dammit!), the ending just made me cry. Hence, I loved FFX-2, because it gave Yuna a chance to shine, to find herself (even if she didn't end up with Tidus) and Tidus DID come back (which just made it super-special awesome). FFIX I liked (still haven't beaten it, though), but I couldn't get over how childish everyone looked. I know that was the point, but I couldn't reconcile their supposed true ages with how they looked. It didn't feel like a "love story" in that game to me because of how young everyone looked. It was like "playtime" but gone wrong-- kids saving the world and whatnot.

So anyway, the fic idea. How in the heck could you feasibly get Yuna, Rikku, Rinoa, Kairi, and Tifa fighting on the same side against the DoA girls in a world that vaguely resembles Mustafar from Star Wars? )

I need a Rinoa icon. :P
azurite: (textually active)
Ganked from [livejournal.com profile] obabscribbler

How about a brief introduction for yourself?

I go by Azurite (heck, even one of my uncles has been calling me that), but anyone from my early Sailor Moon fandom says knows me as Andi (short for "Andromida"), and I'm not too shy anymore about telling people my real name: Meredith.

Fabulous! And what got you into fanfiction to begin with?

Sailor Moon was my first fandom, and as most people know, there was a huge wait between the the first part of Sailor Moon R and the second, let alone the three remaining seasons (the fifth and final of which still has not been formally licensed and subtitled). So I started to go on the Internet to look for spoilers or something, and I ended up reading this story about a "Sailor Milky Way." I thought it was genuinely a synopsis of episodes to come. I later found out that the image was just a flip-flopped one of Hotaru Tomoe (Saturn) from one of the artbooks that I'd never seen in the States, and Sailor Milky Way was just a fan's invention... hence, my first encounter with fanfiction.

The idea of writing ideas as I saw them, and then sharing them with other fans to see what they thought sounded pretty appealing. I wrote my own horrid first fic, which was my take on just who Haruka and Michiru were (this was back when all I knew of them was what I'd seen on stickers that I collected), joined the SMRFF, learned from some masters, and eventually wrote my own Sailor Moon fics.

From there, it's history.

I see, so what kind of fanfiction do you like to write?

When I first started out, I genuinely thought fanfiction was meant to fill in the holes that canon created. Of course, if you have a canon where things DO finish, and DO go a particular (agreeable?) way, then you can have fun writing about alternative universes or timelines/realities, and all number of "what if" scenarios. Originally, I wrote WAFF --warm and fuzzy feeling fanfiction. I couldn't see myself ever writing something angsty or full of dramatic tension. Nowadays, that (and the blend known as TAFF, or Twisted and Fuzzy Feeling) is more my style, and I aim for drama and realism (in terms of characterization or development) in all that I write, regardless of fandom.

I can't really do oneshots or drabbles and the like-- I babble A LOT, and when I get an idea, it tends to be the multi-chapter type. Even right now, with a 36-chapter fic in the works, I have plans for 2 sequels of equal or near-equal length, plus a myriad of other multi-chapter fic ideas, ideas for other fandoms, revisions...

Do you find writing easy? Hard? What are the most difficult aspects of writing you struggle with?

I find it in-between. It's always hard to develop a simple idea into workable prose, something that isn't just "this happened and that happened, the end." I use fanfiction as a way to improve my own writing, because even though I'm using someone else's characters (and often scenarios, because hey, there's no such thing as an "original story" anymore, right?), it allows me to discover new ways of thinking and writing in general.

I'd like to think fanfiction has helped me come a long way from taking just plain stupid ideas into really fully-developed stories about a character's growth or experiences, about his or her feelings about some event or other person.

Also, a lot of what I've learned comes from snippets from craft writing books or kits, things like "nothing you say should be useless, everything you say should have a reason for being said."

Write a few sentences or so of your favorite pairing or character.

I'm an Azureshipper for the Yu-Gi-Oh fandom, which is my primary OTP (I do enjoy a classic Revolution or Peachshipping piece every once in a while, and Azureshipping also tends to read better when there's a side pairing. I've seen Stumbleshipping done pretty well too, among others.), but in other fandoms I may waver-- I like Usagi x Mamoru *AND* Usagi x Seiya in Sailor Moon, but also Haruka x Michiru. Even if I don't write it, I may read it (provided it's well written). For other fandoms, I usually like one pairing exclusively: Kaname x Sousuke from Full Metal Panic, Ranma x Akane from Ranma 1/2, Inuyasha x Kagome from Inuyasha, etc.

Out of all those, it's usually the female who I feel most attracted to, and I would detest seeing any of them characterized badly. You'll notice that, even in my romance fics, I tend to focus on the female half-- I suppose that's on account of me taking to heart the phrase "write what you know." So even if I have no experience with Millennium Items, massive mecha, gender-bending water-activated curses, demons, etc., I still KNOW what it's like to be young, female, and wanting love, so I tend to write about that.

Are there any fanfiction clichés or trends you’re sick of or just can’t stand?

I'm going with [livejournal.com profile] obabscribbler on this one: Bashing. I hate, loathe and abhor character bashing.

Are you guilty of any fanfiction clichés you hate? Or any other ones?

Well, of course when I started out, I was guilty of making the characters OOC, or exaggerating one or two of their qualities into their whole WORLD. I am guilty of the "trite" plot-- the plot device that is overused to death, but I like to think I can put a new twist on it, just as a challenge. WDKY supposedly fit that bill, because the idea of killing off Anzu's parents was a common one for any fics starring her (at the time I started writing it), and it's a lame plot device to get two people together. But, all things considered, it's still worked out pretty well despite that.

What was the first fandom you wrote for, and do you still like/participate in it?

Sailor Moon, as mentioned above, and yes-- but very rarely.

Name your OTPs or most frequently written pairings/characters and explain what it is about them that you love to write.

As mentioned before, Anzu x Seto (Azureshipping) is my OTP for Yu-Gi-Oh, but I've been known to enjoy a few others with Anzu involved. I adore dramatic love triangle (or polygons), too. To keep talking about them, rather than going on about those other pairings I like and already talked about, I like Anzu and Seto because they have SO much potential. They never struck me as characters who hated each others' guts and were wholly incompatible, nor were they characters that had never or could never meet and have any sort of relationship. They HAD interacted, they HAD opinions about one another. Neither of them were the "star" of the show though, so fanfiction about or involving them meant digging deeper into what little glimpses of characterization the canon offered, and developing it into something interesting and unusual. I love to write either of them in such a way that people feel that my Seto could very well be the canon Seto, if someone else had just taken the reins of Yu-Gi-Oh and written it for a different audience.


What would you call your writing “style”?

Long. Except for this answer. :P

Do you read other people’s fanfic? If so, what do you find yourself reading the most?

Oh, whenever I can. I prefer to read by recommendation, but when I discover or get into a new fandom and I don't know anyone there, I do the usual "hunt and peck" search for it. And that usually involves me Googling a fandom's fic archive or FFnet and scouring C2s or the filter system-- but even then, there's a lot of Back-clicking involved. I find myself reading Romance and/or Drama the most, because I love to read the styles and genres that I myself write. It's great to see other people taking the same basic idea (Romance or Drama, etc.) and then veering off with it in an unexpected way.

Name one thing you’d LOVE to write, but have been too afraid or shy to do.

Smut. :P The temptation's there, the IDEA is even there (anyone here remember "Kaiba the Virgin Sacrifice"?), but I just can't get the lady balls to do it. I keep saying I won't start anything new (especially anything long and potentially multi-chapter) until I finish WDKY, anyway.

Do you have trouble taking criticism? Or worse yet, do you have the dreaded bloated ego?

I don't think I have a bloated ego, because almost every review, even if it's short and not littered with praise, flatters me that it even exists. It's so cool that someone took time out of their day to say something about what *I* wrote. I love thinking I've made someone think or feel a certain way due to my writing (style, ideas, etc).

Sometimes, though, I do feel I take things a bit personally, especially when I interpret critique one way and the writer may have meant it differently. But I guess that's bound to happen with all kinds of reviews: being online means you're not psychic,you have no way of knowing what sort of "intent," if any, was behind the review. I can't stand anyone who attacks a writer personally based on their writing though-- that is flaming, and I find it senseless and stupid.

When you write, is there anything that helps? Music? Quiet room?

Music, almost always. A lot of my fics have unofficial soundtracks as a result of that, and some of them even read as being "songfics" because I found them so inspirational. I don't like to fall into the trap of writing fics that essentially rehash the same story from a song, or use a song's title, but it has happened.

What inspires you?

Who the hell knows? My ideas hit me like bolts of lightning, and if I don't write them down immediately, I lose them. WDKY was just a random idea that came about one day when I was working at the box office of a movie theatre. I had to try and write every bit of the idea down on small scraps of paper that I didn't have nearly enough of, or enough room for in my too-tight regulation pants. About the only thing that job was good for was the inspiration I got during the dead hours.

Lastly, how would you sum up your fanfiction experiences and yourself as a writer?

I'd like to think I've come a hell of a long way since I first wrote fanfiction WAAAY back in the day (I think my first fic was titled "The Cosmic Rebirth Series"), and I've certainly been able to write new and different styles, and MORE of it (I have chapters that are almost novel-length). But I'm always looking to improve, and for that reason, I can't really see myself leaving fandom completely. It's always great to meet new people and brainstorm, too. Honestly, my life's been changed by fandom, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Tag six friends because they’ll hate you for it.
[livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra
[livejournal.com profile] atlantian_magic
[livejournal.com profile] bewareofdogz
[livejournal.com profile] svelterose
[livejournal.com profile] a_white_rain
[livejournal.com profile] dqbunny
azurite: Part of the "What Doesn't Kill You" series of fanfic icons (wdky7)
Excerpts from two reviews I received for WDKY recently (the same person, different chapter reviews):

Kaiba does seem a bit OOC (I can't see him falling for Tea so quickly...)
for chapter 4

Bakura?! OOC to the max... o0 I know you gave a reason, so it's not a problem t the story, but MAN. I was NOT expecting that... =D
for chapter 7

I suppose I could always do Review Replies (either reply to the author directly, since these were reviews from FFnet) or simply edit the Review Reply LJ entries I have for these chapters, but rather than just do that, I want to reply and ask a question of any readers of WDKY on this here FL:

I don't see Kaiba as being (that) OOC in any portion of WDKY. I admit, I'm not as good at characterizing him as the bastard he well can be, but part of "fleshing out a character" means giving them new dimensions and justifying that growth or change. It's not as if I've made Kaiba a wibbly little moppet who'll do anything for Téa. Conversely, I've tried to make this as "realistic" (in the horribly soap operatic, angst-filled way) as possible, and more often than not, Kaiba's a jerk. That's how I saw him in canon, but he wasn't some irredeemable jerk, which is why I fell for the pairing (Azureshipping) in the first place.

My justification here is the fact that this story was started when Battle City was still running on TV. And I mean the ORIGINAL tournament, not even the Duel Tower episodes-- that's why Noah showing up and being a ghost was out of left field, and I had to write a whole bunch of stuff to explain why they HADN'T run into Noah midway through the BC tournament, when pretty much everything else about the story used anime elements. That said, Kaiba's known Téa for more than a year prior to ANY of the events of WDKY. I'd say a year of not giving a shit about someone, eventually (and quite reluctantly) getting to know them, and then several months of awkward "Well, she's around and I sympathize with her plight but I'd never tell her to her face and her face is actually quite attractive now that I look at it..." before Kaiba even CONSIDERS he might be feeling something romantic (actually, he recognizes the sexual attraction first). Consider also his character in canon: it's bordering on asexual. Because the show is targeted toward younger boys and it's action-oriented, there's not much (if any) emphasis on romance or development in that respect at all. Kaiba could be a total playboy on the side or a complete prude, a virgin duelist!

I wouldn't call that him falling for her quick. The other thing is, this isn't Kaiba's story. It's Téa's, and I establish that from the get-go. We might get into Kaiba's head every now and again, but what it boils down to is, this is the story of Téa's growth more than anyone else's, the things she sees and does and feels-- even if there are other people there, seeing and doing and experiencing and feeling. If I did a version of WDKY, maybe I'd have much more dramatic thought-angst on Kaiba's part about how he's struggling to deal with the very real possibility of having a first "crush" or first "serious relationship," but again, that's not the point of WDKY.

Moving on, Bakura... Bakura's a hard one. See, by the end of Yu-Gi-Oh, we learn that the guy we all called Yami no Bakura (or Dark Bakura, or Bakura with the host of Ryou, or Bathead) was not actually the spirit of the Thief King Bakura the way Yami no Yuugi was the spirit of Pharaoh Atem. He was simply a "shard" of Zork Necrophades, darkness personified, essentially. Though it seemed like he was out for revenge, it never really crystallized, and most of the time, Bakura came across as a guy just out for his own benefit, his own amusement. You did get the feeling that he knew a lot more than he was letting on, though, and based on THAT impression from when I first started writing WDKY, that's how I've developed Bakura. It's been years now since the story started, and Yu-Gi-Oh the series (both the anime and the manga) have ended in both their Japanese and translated English/dub forms.

It's a bit like saying someone's Harry Potter is OOC when he doesn't yell in CAPSLOCK OF RAGE because a fanfic was written about him reacting to someone's death prior to Book Five. I mean, considering when I wrote it (and the fact that I developed a humongous plan from the very start), do you really expect my Bakura to be exactly like the guy in the show? He can't be, not anymore-- and I'm slowly but surely revealing the reasons why he does what he does. I guess him helping someone WOULD be OOC, but then again, remember: everything he does in WDKY has a dark side, for his own benefit. Hell, he even SAYS as much when he saves Téa, and the concept of Téa and Kaiba OWING him for that is a recurring theme!

So, my questions:
(1) Assuming you can have a something of a "character bell curve" where there are certain definable traits for any given character, at what point do you deviate TOO FAR from those points and become "OOC" no matter what "justification" is given? For example, if I turn Kaiba into a sobbing, crying mess, that's pretty far off his "characterization chart." I could, theoretically, justify it (thereby bringing his "characterization line" up to this far, deviant point on the map), but I'd have to do a damn good job at it-- make it believable. What would be UNBELIEVABLE for Kaiba or Bakura, no matter what?

(2) Considering the final arc of Yu-Gi-Oh revealed Yami no Bakura as not really his own personality (i.e., not the Thief King out for revenge because of what the Pharaoh Atem's father/former advisor did to his hometown, friends, and family in the Kul Elna massacre), what makes "Bakura" in-character or wildly OOC? How do you recognize a character who has the potential to change from one season/arc to the next? What are Bakura's underlying, never-change traits?

Omoshiroi

Mar. 28th, 2008 09:49 am
azurite: (believe in subtext)

Click here to see! )


Well, I up and joined FanLib. -_- They don't accept HTML submissions (right now). Considering I type ALL my fics in HTML, this is a big MINUS for them. I could copy and paste my text from Dreamweaver into their cute WYSIWYG box, but then I'd have to go through and re-do all the bolding, italicizing, and horizontal ruling. Very annoying. Now, if I could copy-paste the HTML and it would auto-convert, that'd kick ass. I refuse to have multiple copies of all my fics (e.g. one HTML and one RTF or whatever) on my computer just for one site, though. If all the other modern fic archives can accept HTML, why the hell can't FanLib? Grr.

I'm also... oh, maybe 75% done with WDKY26. I've been working on it off and on for a while now, and it's the start of the arc I've been itching to write for a while. But even though I've been itching to write it, translating the ideas I have (my outline-- I always make outlines for every chapter, my "planner") into halfway decent prose is hard.
What makes it even more difficult is, I'm recalling the advice I had for students today at Grover Cleveland High, where I tutor a 10th grade English class... sure, essays =/= fanfiction, but many of them asked me to look over their reflective essays/short stories/autobiographical narratives, which all have the element of a "voice" in it that could easily be a fictional person. Then there's my own sense of what makes a good fic and what doesn't-- my own recent complaints about a fic. It'd suck if my own complaints applied to MY fic, so I'm trying to see the weak spots and redo them somehow, before I get the temptation to just "do it [the scene] and get it over with!" and never look back.

That said, I'm thinking a beta/brainstorming session is in order. Anyone with some free time on their hands? (I don't know about you, but I have a three day weekend. I might be going to Fresno for my cousin Shaina's wedding shower, but I still plan on writing every spare moment I can. I have a LOT of writing to do, and WDKY acts as both practice and escapism from that.)
azurite: (snark or smut)
I just finished reading the FanLib.com: One Year Later post on [livejournal.com profile] fanthropology, and I gotta say... my initial reservations about why FanLib sucked so hard are gone. I re-read their entire FAQ, the About Us page, and the Terms of Service-- and I applaud them for the latter, because even though it uses that oh-so-annoying legal CAPSLOCK OF DOOM!, generally it's in plain English and makes sense.

I'm honestly thinking of signing up, and not just to prevent my name from being besmirched there by a plagiarist at some later date.

Anyone with compelling reasons NOT to, please step forward.

Fucknuts

Mar. 23rd, 2008 02:35 pm
azurite: (textually active)
Okay, so FFnet has decided that, along with hyphen/dash-based scene separators, they're also going to eat e-acutes, quotation marks (single and double), among other things, I'm sure.

I have to edit every single chapter of WDKY to date for changes to the display/characters that FFnet
a) did NOT say they were going to remove support for
b) that were properly encoded in the first place, in the original HTML
c) has not made easy to fix, because I have to go to the original story, export each chapter, go into Live Edit, go into HTML preview, and then paste the original HTML. Then and only then does it show up right in the Live Preview and HOPEFULLY on the reader's end, as well.

ARGH!

Oh wait, it gets better. I wrote to Support. AND THEY WROTE BACK! )
azurite: (textually active)
TokyoPop sponsors a fanfiction competition with cash as the prize!

Of course, the catch is that it must apply to a very specific one of their "manga," Queenie Chan's "The Dreaming." I'm assuming Queenie's a fanficcer herself and gave permission for this, and Tokyopop is interested in seeing how the non-artists of fandom will respond to the idea of a) getting published and b) getting "cold, hard CASH!!" for it. I also figure Queenie herself might be on the judging panel...

Very interesting. I've never read "The Dreaming," but I might just start with this competition as a possible foray into the world of "professional fanficcing." Sounds fun.

I should probably note, they're not CALLING it fanfiction on the site, but that's totally what it is.
azurite: (roses are red)
H'okay. Sho.

With the help of [livejournal.com profile] everything_lj (because with a name like that, do you expect any less?) I managed to get my lovely corkboard LJ layout (designed by [livejournal.com profile] stellastars) functioning and looking the way I want to. I decided to tinker with it just to try and add a site meter, to see more about how many visits I get. But because LJ is annoying with its restrictions on embedded media (e.g. Flash, JavaScript), I couldn't use the usual tools, like the Izea Toolkit. But Sitemeter offered a JavaScript and regular HTML tracking image, which suits me just fine. I replaced the syndicated module (that'd be the one with the RSS/Atom icons) and made sure my title images were displaying, and viola! Lovely layout. :) I kinda miss the days when I used Greymatter and could design my own layout (I still have my old one featuring Emily Strange), so I might end up starting another blog (hopefully something a bit more streamlined than this... LJ is just sort of my "dump" repository, where I post about everything) on seventh-star.net.

Read more... )

Then today, Juana, her sister, some of her friends, and Melina and I all went to L.A. Family Housing in North Hollywood, where we worked on Valentine's Day cards The original plan was to make Valentine's mail boxes, but they ended up too small... I think the cards were a much better idea, in the end, as more kids came and the cards offered more possibility for creativity. We stayed longer than we thought and made a HUGE mess, but we cleaned it all up in the end and had some very pleased kids. I think today was the first time in several years that I got so artistic that I actually had ink (from markers and stuff) all over my hands again. I used to be covered in colors in elementary school, so it was rather nostalgic for me.

And now, for some random lists:
Like

* The huge variety of applications on Facebook; I'm always finding more that are cool

* Sarah Brightman's new album "Symphony," but most especially the track "Fleurs du Mal," which (oh you're gonna hate me for this) has helped inspire a new arc for "Eternal Dimension," the third and final installment in the "What Doesn't Kill You" series. FYI: it starts with WDKY (36 chapters), continues with "Circle of Seven" (not sure of the exact chapter length yet), and ends with "Eternal Dimension." And that's all tentative at the moment, because there may very well be a new Yu-Gi-Oh series coming out, called Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters 5D's, though I have no idea what the 5 D's are. -_-. But GX (though I haven't really seen more than a few episodes of it, due to the cringe-factor) is most likely going to have its role to play in the WDKY-verse, so why not this new series, assuming it's halfway good and gets picked up and dubbed like GX did?

[livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra, it's all your fault, you know. I like SB so much now that I not only watched her on Martha Stewart's show the other day (she performed "Storia d'Amour"), but I actually sat through the crazy opening sequence of "Pasíon," the Spanish soap-opera that SB sang the opening theme for-- in a duet with a countertenor whose voice sounds... very feminine. Plus, I got the entire Charmed: Book of Shadows OST because it had "Free (Swiss American Federation Remix)," and then the Free EP, which includes the song I'm listening to... but I wonder, which version is the one SB performed in the music video on LAUNCH! Yahoo? Have I mentioned I love remixes?

* The 795 colors that Diana's going to be featuring in Sailor X v2.08. She's already done amazing work (and been updating like a fiend) with 2.07, having just added the skirt stripes and collar stripes again. The ideas are plentiful, the colors almost endless! It's an absolute joy to take every weird senshi idea I've ever had and plug it into Sailor X... while not every single option is available yet, they almost certainly will be soon. Going back into the nerdy realm of Sailor Moon (and Otaku Senshi) has never been so fun! BTW, if you haven't yet checked out the official Sailor Xv2 DeviantArt account (or mine, where I post some of my creations), then look-see: Sailor Xv2 - me!

Dislike
* Having to send invitations to ANY amount of friends just to see my results for a quiz on Facebook

* Crappily-written quizzes, e.g ones with predictable answers, a limited set of answers (e.g. only 3 or 5), or terrible spelling/grammar (this applies to any quiz, anywhere). Actually, this applies to everything. I don't "relate" to anyone who can't be bothered to capitalize properly, use complete words (FYI, "ur" is not a word, unless you're talking about the ancient Mesopotamian city), or put apostrophes where they belong.

* Having to still be updating [livejournal.com profile] 30kisses for the New Year's 2008 Purge. Even having another mod on the team doesn't seem to have helped... is everyone just always busy at the same time? I hate feeling like I'm doing everything on my own.

* Not feeling organized enough! Argh, too much paper! Too many files! Everything, too complicated! (I suppose I should consider it a blessing that I ran out of paper for my printer. At least... I think I did.)

* Still having not heard from anyone at RPGClassics about my application to make the Star Ocean 3 shrine there. Not even on the forums. Hmph.

* Figuring something out moments after you resigned yourself to having done the best job you could do and "to hell with it." I did that with my first homework assignment for RTM 330, my first online class. I missed the whole "APA requirements" for assignments (or is it only papers?). Oops! I wonder if the professor will cut some slack for the first assignment? Then again, she seemed to have mentioned somewhere that the discussion questions aren't even graded, but I can't find out what really is graded, besides projects (like a genealogy paper). It's harder than I thought, keeping up with WebCT... maybe I ought to set it as a homepage this semester?
azurite: (elections - palpatine '08)
...I don't know a thing about Gakuen Alice. o_o But I do know Tokyopop's quizzes don't embed properly. -_- Or maybe it's just my layout. In any case, what was the point of asking me for a post title when they're going to change it, anyway?

What's your Alice? Quiz )

Also: my ENGL 313 (Pop Culture) teacher ROCKS. I thought this of my previous Pop Culture teacher, the class I had to drop last Spring, when I had the semester from hell (and flunked Japanese). This Prof, Hatfield by name, knows what fandom is. Okay, so he's a Pop Culture teacher, he should know about some things... I mean, I expect people to know what anime is these days. Knowing manga (and not calling them "graphic novels") is a bit of an accomplishment, as is knowing what "fanfiction" is. But Hatfield just took the cake when he remembered one single word... COSPLAY.

Not "dressing up as a Klingon or Obi-Wan" but the very WORD "Cosplay." He knew it! (Okay, so his son is apparently in the disaster called the CSUN Anime Club, so I can't blame him if he found out through there...) But that rocks my socks, because even the people that dress up like Spock or Worf or Obi-Wan or Anakin don't know that word. To them, dressing up as a character is "dressing up as a character." Cosplay is a Japanese portmanteau, a mashing of "costume" and "play." Though it could theoretically be guessed from context (though Baba thought the "Cos" was short for "Cosmic" when I mentioned it to her this afternoon), it might take some examples of what it is (visual examples, that is) to really get the brain juices flowing.

We're going to have to do a fandom-related project near the end of the semester. An option is to study a "fandom-based community," where you "immerse" yourself in it. *raises eyebrow* Something tells me I'd have a great time "studying" [livejournal.com profile] playthedamncard. Or [livejournal.com profile] smrff. Heh!

Oh, to other fellow California voting-age ppls: so, what do you think of the whole Props 94-97? Those are the Indian Gaming ones, if you don't remember. TV is just saturated with those ads lately, and to be honest, I'm torn. On the one hand, I'm not apt to believing that more slot machines at Indian Gaming Resorts will equal billions of dollars for California, especially not "immediately." And while I realize that the state is in a fiscal crisis, if the money we get isn't used properly, it doesn't seem to make sense. Any money we do get -whether we "deserve" it or not- should be put into proper use.

What bothers me is that there are people on both sides of the fence, and as none of them are my local representatives or people I know/recognize, I don't know who to trust. There are teachers on both sides, police officers and other law enforcement officers... people whose opinion I value, but I don't know who to believe.

So, what do you think? I'm skeptical of the ads from the "No" campaign, if only because it clearly says at the bottom that they're paid for by a Vegas casino and a Hollywood racetrack. However, I don't know whether the passing of the props would mean that it really WOULD be four rich gaming tribes versus the many other, non-gaming tribes left in the dust. My grandfather thinks that Vegas casino bigshots are controlling the Indian Gaming casinos and resorts anyway, from "Connecticut to California," and that the bulk of the money goes back to them, anyway.

I don't know what to think, so... help?

Oh, also: [livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra, it's all your fault! Well, yours and Em's (sorry, I don't think I can spell her full LJ name... o_o but you know who I mean!), because I've been reading Em's "It Only Takes a Moment" for the past two nights (I'm slow), and checking out all your cute comic strips based on it... and other RobRae art (*wink wink*). You're making me wish I still watched TT! I'm actually glad I caught up on DeviantArt, at any rate. Lots of stuff to be had there. :) Got myself a new wallpaper, because, well, Ty was just making me blush inappropriately. So I switched it to NMSmith's lovely "Iris" wallpaper.

Reminds me of Goo Goo Dolls )

I wanna know how to make jewels like the small ones on the side. :)
azurite: (bad grammar. no cookie!)
I finished Star Ocean 3 the other day (and the Maze of Tribulations not long after; working on the Urssa Cave Temple now), and I decided to peruse FFnet (oh gawd, what was I thinking?!) for some good Albel x Nel or Fayt x Sophia, my preferred pairings of choice for this game (I like Cliff x Mirage, too, but Mirage hardly got any characterization, so...), and I just see the same sort of lousy things that get me clicking the "back" button.

I think these particular things, while not necessarily alone, will make a fic go "bad." How many of these do you agree with? How many do you have to add? And how many does it take to truly make... a bad FIC?

I'd like to think most of these are self-explanatory. Anyone wanting an explanation as to why I feel a particular thing makes a fic lousy, feel free to ask.

* Use things like "flashback" and "Character A's POV" in your text

* Inserting author's notes into your story text

* Random Capitalization

* "Author's Choice" of spellings, especially for names (e.g. Fayt spelled as Fate or Fayte)

* Poor grammar: this includes bad spelling, lack of punctuation (or overuse, which even I've been guilty of at times), and "wrong word" syndrome, where people can't seem to figure out the difference between where/were, they're/there/their, your/you're, and so forth. Also, misspelling "summary" as "summery." Guess what, brainiacs?! Two DIFFERENT WORDS MEANING TWO DIFFERENT THINGS!

* Rampant OOC or disregard for canon without explanation (and no, "I was on a sugar high!" or similar does not count; if you can write a story where the character names can be fill-in-the-blank, then what's the point of calling it fanfiction and posting it to a place where people expect to be able to recognize the characters and, at least sometimes, the situations they're in!?)

* Summaries that don't tell you anything about what the story is about (e.g. filled with R&R, no flames, rated E for Everyone, I suck at summaries, etc. etc.)

Anything else? I wonder what might be an indicator of bad fic right away for people-- for any fandom, any genre-- all across the board. What could get you to click YOUR back button within ten minutes of reading a fic?
azurite: (sailormoon - unforgotten uranepu)
LJ Year In Review: Post the subject and/or first line of the first entry for each month of 2007.

01: Yay.
02: Sometimes We Fall Apart. (FL)
03: I'm Back, I'm Bold, Maybe Even Beautiful! (FL)
04: Dollies And Other Such Things. (FL)
05: What The Duck?
06: Well, Okay
07: [SM] [smrff] [Usa Week] Born to Be
08: So, Yeah... (FL)
09: Hmmgrr.
10: Blogger's Challenge, Day One
11: Sometimes I Want To Strangle Editors
12: One Thing I Want To Do With My Life

Okay, so I don't post friends-locked entries more often, on average. I also don't post creative works very often at all, on average. That's only if you're looking at the entries from the first of every month of 2007, though.

This meme got me to post "Born to Be" on FFnet, though it's unbeta'd. It didn't have any commentary on the LJ entry, and I'm not sure if I remember any feedback one way or the other from SMRFF, but hey, at least it's out there, now. And to my re-read, it was decent-- so, to Epiphany it goes! I don't know why it took FFnet 3 tries just to upload it. Why the heck does it consider HTML a "last resort" for formatting? Uh, HAY BRAINZ!? HTML is better by far than DOC format... :P Why, you ask? Well, uh, gee, because it's UNIVERSAL? And wtf about not preserving formatting? If you can make bold in HTML, it's preserved-- PERIOD. Ugh, FFnet, you are made of FAIL.

I wonder what other LJ-only fics have yet to make it to FFnet, for whatever reason?

I kinda want to watch Sailor Moon now...

But wait, there's more memes! )
azurite: (believe in subtext)
I'm almost done with His Dark Materials, the trilogy by Philip Pullman including "The Golden Compass," "The Subtle Knife," and "The Amber Spyglass." I do think they read together better as an omnibus-- or at least 2 and 3 do, because the ending of 1 was "okay," while 2 just sort of... well, "cut off," pun not intended.

I've got a ton of other books to read at some point, many of them purchases from when I was in San Francisco, including Candace Bushnell's Lipstick Jungle, The Thirteenth Tale, the second In Death book, "Glory In Death," "The Historian," the rest of the "Book of the Dead," Susan Issac's "Long Time No See" (at Baba's recommendation), and "Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her," which I'm finding is a very fun, informative read on one of my favorite childhood heroines.

Today at Borders, I also picked up a bunch of manga (another one of those 5-for-4 sales), though I'm still holding off on Fullmetal Alchemist and its associated novels, since I want to wait for the whole series to be finished. Besides, I technically don't have enough bookshelf space for what I have... it's kind of embarrassing (but cool! Because who doesn't want to have their own personal library? Mine is killer! :D). I also picked up "Codebreaker," about -what else?- codes and ciphers and their history. That purchase was, of course, inspired by seeing "National Treasure: Book of Secrets." I actually love puzzles (logic puzzles are my favorite-- I'm not much one for crosswords, though I am a little good at Sudoku), and I think that's sort of come out in WDKY's Téa, because I've had her solve her father's riddles in order to unravel a family mystery (and save Seto on the side, of course). In thinking about the future of WDKY, I'm thinking, if Téa didn't become a dancer, what would she be? There could be any number of reasons why she might not dance, and I thought she might end up as a cryptanalyst or similar. It'd be a fun way of having her one-up Kaiba in many ways-- genius of one area vs. genius of... well, Kaiba's sort of an all-around guy, but hey! :D

Speaking of fanfiction, I've started revisions on an old Sailor Moon fic of mine, "Hogosha no Kokoro," or HnK for short. Originally, the title was SUPPOSED to translate to "Guardian of the Heart," but that was back before I fully understood Japanese and the function (and positioning) of noun modifiers. So technically, it translates to "Guardian's Heart," or "Heart of [the] Guardian," but I guess that's okay, too, even though the meaning is a bit different from what I intended. In any case, I explain the mixup in my Author's Notes, and add "Guardian of the Heart," as the story's subtitle. I figure I could change it to what it was meant to be (Kokoro no Hogosha), but that doesn't have quite the same ring to it, and besides, if I were to abbreviate it the way I do for my other fics (like WDKY), it would be GotH. o_o Yeah, I have a "Goth" story. Great.

Anyway, I'm not sure why I picked this one over any of my other SM fics-- heck knows they all need revising, but HnK has great possibilities as an AR Silver Millennium Fic. No, I'm not going to try and make it fit with the current theme of [livejournal.com profile] sm_monthly (which I've almost consistently had ideas for, but never gotten around to actually writing/posting).

Read more... )
azurite: (xmas ornaments tree)
I would make like Happosai and go "what a haul! what a haul!" but my haul this year was meager but meaningful-- just the way I like it. From Gary, I got some gelt (and if you don't know what that means, go look it up in a Yiddish dictionary); from Mom I got a new black iHome iPod dock/radio with alarm, along with a $25 Macy*s gift card. Rochelle also gave me a $25 gift card; Eva got me "Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End" on the 2-disc DVD edition (YAYZ!). Though I don't think it counted as a Hanukkah present, Dad also gave me V for Vendetta, and I bought myself the Anastasia (remember that lovely animated film by Fox? Wow, John Cusak ~_~) Family Fun Edition.

Yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] azhp and I made my traditional Spritz cookies, so those of you in the Yay Area who want some, better call your dibs now! (This is being awfully egotistical, isn't it? But I'd like to think everyone's liked them over the years; I know I do.) Speaking of cookies, the Jays (the family that owns the flat Mom & Gary live in) gave us some delicious... well, they TASTE like cookies, but they look like brownies. And they're delicious! :D I'm eating a chocolate chip one, now.

I've still got gifts of my own to give out, but so far, it's been a nice holiday-- fun, productive, and not overly emotional. Heck, I even managed to get the Christmas tree up and decorated last night-- what a relief, considering this year, it seemed like it wouldn't happen (again), but this time due to laziness/too much furniture blocking the way/whatever, instead of Mom-is-a-Grinch. This year it only took her a day or so to get into the mood, and she hasn't been a Grinch since. Yay for that.

Also:
-Seems a lot of my cousins are going to be in Northridge when I go back on Thursday. And Scott's coming in the evening and staying the night so we can hang out Friday... o_o I'm hoping it doesn't somehow end up awkward in any way. (Knowing me, I've probably already jinxed it.)

-Dad made it to Northridge okay. Another day, another adventure. I wonder what we'll be doing for the time he stays?

-Managed to edit up an image for a Dragonfayth Xmas skin. Now I need to make something for New Year's. But the skins only display on the holidays, so anyone looking at Dragonfayth today, 12/25, tell me what you think! Sure, I can't claim credit for the Seto x Anzu art (that goes to [livejournal.com profile] lin_ko), nor the skin base design itself (that goes to Kali), but I mashed it altogether and made it work! Eh-eh-heh...

-In my old room here in S.F. (which is now called the Tovstin, a mix of Tovsen -Gary's name- and Westin, where Mom works), Gary has some tiny fish... one of them died last night. :( I didn't want to let it sit there (which is what I did several years ago in high school, resulting in a mass fish death that day), so I disposed of it... so sad that it had to die on Christmas. What made it especially suck was that he had another fish that I thought had died when I first arrived... but apparently it was pregnant and just floating around, trying to avoid swimming too much. Gary poked it and it turned out to be alive, so I was relieved. I was hoping the same thing had happened with this other one, but... no such luck. I poked and it just floated back up again. ;_;

-I didn't get the chance to work on (let alone finish) my Aria's Ink 2003 Xmas competition entry "Information, Please!" (title subject to change now), but I've got it pretty fleshed out in my head... I think it was 4-5 chapters, and I think I've decided not to make it an AU... the drama's always more fun that way. If I did get it done by New Year's, it be a nice "opening fic" for Epiphany when it goes live.

-Gotta work on the [livejournal.com profile] 30kisses purge!

-Wonder if I can get that purple double-breasted pea coat from H&M tomorrow...? I'll call the main store in the morning and see if they got a new shipment.

-Many, many books to read. Did I mention I'd gone on a bit of a spree at Borders the other night? Plus, I'm about halfway through the whole "His Dark Materials" trilogy; I'm several chapters into "The Subtle Knife."It's pretty comfy just lying in bed, watching movies and/or reading. I think I'll go back and do just that right now...

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