azurite: dream BIG (dream big)
 I remember a few years ago reading part of Jonah Lehrer’s “Imagine” -- because I tend to devour any sort of book on creativity. I have an entire shelf devoted just to writing books. 

What ended up pissing me off about his book was the notion that in order to be a creative person, you have to be inherently depressed, angry, or some sort of addict (whether it’s drugs, alcohol, or something else). I hate that idea, even if history seems to support it.

I just finished watching a Fuji TV program called “Ghostwriter” on Crunchyroll. It’s only 10 episodes, but it’s easily one of the most dramatic, unpredictable shows I’ve ever watched. That it’s about something I love (writing) made it even more watchable.

I’m not sure how accurate a portrayal it is of the Japanese publishing industry and trends when it comes to writers (for example, there aren’t a lot of works by co-authors, or ghostwriting is considered extremely taboo there), but the suspense kept me binge watching, practically Netflix-style.

Read more... )

azurite: (Default)
I posted this on Tumblr yesterday to see if I could stir up any kind of a response from this "teaser" for the first chapter of a new fic I'm working on. I'm not "holding it hostage" or anything-- I've written more of this than what's posted, and I'd like to finish it, but I'd like to know what people think.

More notes follow.

Thrice Gone
A Yu-Gi-Oh! Fanfic
By Azurite - azurite AT seventh-star DOT net
seventh-star DOT net

Rated: T/PG-13
Pairing: Seto x Anzu (Azureshipping)
Timeline: Post (anime) series – within a few months or so, when the gang is in their third and final year of high school.

Idea Date: 5/16/2004
Written Date: 8/10/2015 - Happy belated birthday, Anzu! Sorry Not Sorry I keep throwing you into tragic situations for the sake of romance.
Posted Date: 9/24/2015 - Part 1

Disclaimer: I don’t own Yu-Gi-Oh! This is all for fun, not for profit.

Author’s Note: So yeah, I’ve been off the radar, so to speak, for what, several years? I’m sorry. A LOT has happened. Suffice it to say, I got writer’s block of epic proportions, despite “What Doesn’t Kill You” chapter 27 being 75% or more written, with the outline complete… but I can’t write duels to save my Life (Points). Anyway, thanks to a combination of re-watching the series again from the start in Japanese (!!) and my awesome boyfriend/editor, the chapter is now coming along more-or-less nicely (unless you’re Kaiba, then it’s being somewhat mean). And in the meantime, I’ve decided that if the writing bug strikes me and it’s not for WDKY, who am I to fight it? So here we are with an idea I’ve had for a long time, prompted to finally being in prose form thanks to a fully-realized scene that popped into my head today.

Thanks for joining me.
Read more... )
azurite: Life is short, talk fast (life is short talk fast)
Every time I go away from Dreamwidth blogging for a while, Dreamwidth goes and gets more awesome. I decided to nix my Premium account because even though I love the site and service, I was using it so rarely I couldn't justify the expense, especially when I've got my own domain and am often trying to post to my various WordPress-powered blogs on sites there.

The problem is, my sites are so new, so thin on content, that I don't have that built-in community.

This gets crossposted to LiveJournal, and why? Well, LJ has been around even longer than Dreamwidth, but LJ also had so so so many issues when Six Apart sold it (even before that, when Brad sold it to Six Apart). I really didn't like a lot of those changes, and I saw a lot of my fellow LJers move over to Dreamwidth. The communities sometimes followed, but not always.

I have a permanent account on LJ, which means it's not supposed to go anywhere, ever. Theoretically, all the interconnected services there are these days should mean that it's EASIER to cross-post and always stay up-to-date, but the real experience of LJ and DW are the Friends List/Reading Page, and these days, if I'm reading anything for a prolonged period of time, it's Facebook. Yes, there are fan communities there too, but it's very much NOT the same.

I never really divided my fandom self from my "real" self-- I'm not afraid to tell people who I am on Facebook or deviantArt or wherever, and I've never particularly cared about "IRL" friends or family finding out about my fandom activities.

"Judge not, lest ye be judged" I guess.

Long-winded entry continues here... )
azurite: (fiction - have written)
Dragonfayth, my site for Azureshipping (Seto Kaiba x Anzu Mazaki/Téa Gardner) fanfiction from the Yu-Gi-Oh! fandom, has recently been inundated with spam. I've deleted it all, but as of right now, there's no solution for the problem as a whole.

The people behind the software aren't that numerous, and the package is pretty customized--after all, a fanfiction archive, while something hugely popular, isn't as mainstream as blogs. So it takes a while for updates to go through, patches and mods to be made, etc. And since the software is free, these people all have day jobs that take away more of their time.

I can't blame them, but I've reached the point where I'd rather pay to get a better solution, or use something else.

Since I don't really have the money or budget for hiring someone to make and teach me/maintain such a site for me, I'm stuck trying to find another solution. Finding software ready-made for fanfiction is harder than it sounds. Fanfiction.net and AO3's software is proprietary--not released to the public, not available for free. Same with FicWad, may it rest in peace. And don't even get me started on MediaMiner.org.

Most people who want their fanfiction archives use eFiction. It's been on version 3.5.3 for ages now; the supposed release of 4 hasn't happened yet, and I'm teetering on "lost hope" for it altogether.

Enter: WordPress.

I'm already using it for the new Seventh-Star Network (the main site, seventh-star.net, I'm building a What Doesn't Kill You site for my biggest fanficton project ever, and I've started making subsites for all my other sites for the various fandoms I've been involved in over the years. I've been using WordPress for ages, not just on GamingDead.com, but for sites that I've built for class projects, like Chixflix.

There are plenty of people who post their fics on WordPress.com, but making a fanfiction archive is a bit different.

I've already got a WordPress Multiuser installation setup for all my other sites; it wouldn't be a headache to set up another site with multiple authors (similar to GD) with open registration (still approved based on captcha codes to eliminate spam sign-ups), and utilize everything like making pages for fanfics, using tags for ratings and warnings, categories for...well, categories, and so on and so forth.

It's very, very tempting, but I don't know if I even want to try starting it as an experiment if it's not a good idea.

So, some questions for you:
1 - What does a good fanfiction archive REQUIRE? (For example, the ability to leave reviews)
2 - What separates an okay fanfiction archive from a GREAT one?
3 - If you have experience with WordPress, what do you think its limitations are for posting/sharing fanfiction?
azurite: (fanfiction - canon error)
Long time no write--at least, here. I've been trying to keep up with writing 750 words (about three pages, which is the suggested amount from Julia Cameron's famous "The Artist's Way," except she called them "Morning Pages"), and I've been semi-successful at that, though November has been all kinds of crazy.

I tried to do NaNoWriMo too, and though I've got an explosive opening for my first original novel (set in a fantasy world that my BF David is developing for a roleplaying game), I do not have a full and complete novel by any stretch of the imagination.

In the meantime, I've been trying to set up my sites as WordPress sites now, since learning Joomla! was just too damn difficult and time-consuming, even with a Lynda.com membership. I've been using WordPress off and on for years for various other sites, and it makes sense to use the biggest, easiest-to-use CMS for my own personal fandom sites, too.

Now, it's not (currently, as far as I'm aware) possible to integrate WordPress with every other script out there--I'd love it if there was eFiction and WordPress integration, but there's not. I'm keeping Dragonfayth around as the Azureshipping fanfiction archive, but I'm considering not making Epiphany, the archive I was going to use to gather all of my own fanfiction, using eFiction.

I was considering WordPress, since I'm planning to make all my fandom sites using WordPress as well, and it seemed appropriate (maybe) to make individual sites for my particular epic fanfics, like "What Doesn't Kill You" (especially since the PLANS for that story involve at least two sequels), and "Wax and Wane" (formerly "Only 16").

A quick Google search reveals that plenty of people use WordPress (the self-hosted variety OR the WordPress.com variety) to post fanfic, much as people use Dreamwidth and/or LiveJournal. The thing is, a blog-style format for posting fanfic ISN'T a great idea. It's timeline-centric, and the whole point of fanfics is that they can be found and read by anyone, at any time. You'd need to take extra steps to make navigation so people can get to all your fics, make that navigation obvious, and make it uncomplicated--which is why "Pit of Voles" or not, fanfiction.net is the repository for fanfics on the web. It categorizes everything by type of fandom, name of fandom, world/universe, author, rating, genre, characters, language...you name it.

I could probably very easily post fanfics as "Pages" within the WordPress schema, and have another "Master Page" that I update regularly with new chapters, edits, or whatever, but I'm just wondering if anyone else out there has taken this approach or has suggestions for another.

My main WordPress projects now are getting the non-fanfiction material from my fandom sites up on my new network of WordPress sites, and for those sites that might be specifically fanfiction related, there's a ton of other content to include: ideas, Easter eggs, edits, fanart...stuff like that.
azurite: Part of the "What Doesn't Kill You" series of fanfic icons (wdky (general))
At one of the Borders Going Out of Business sales (*sigh*) I got a book I'd been eyeing before, "The Daily Writer," by Fred White. It's got a lot of daily prompts that should encourage you to write, but what I find interesting about it is that they're not just phrases or interesting facts or pictures or things like that--it's a short "study" on something, like experiences and how they affect your character, or what fantasy and magic do for us as humans.

On August 9, the topic was "The Opening Sentence," and on August 10, I actually cracked open my notebook while riding on the bus to work and started writing. I have a lot of opening sentences from various works--fiction and non, fanfic and original--but because it's my current project that I am Trying To Get Done Already, I focused on "What Doesn't Kill You."

The activity asked readers to write 10 openings for an already "finished" story (which WDKY technically isn't; I haven't written the end of it yet, but the beginning is pretty much set in stone), and 10 for a story that is simply "in the works," or being planned.

I didn't quite get around to that part of the activity yet, but I might shortly.

In the meantime, what the entry on opening sentences, their impact and their purpose, had on me while riding the bus:

Another one rides the bus )
azurite: (sailormoon - pgsm senshi)
I have this nifty tool on my Mac called beaTunes 3 (it's available for Windows, too!) that helps you take better care of your music and make better playlists. If you're missing information (genre, album artist), if information is misspelled, or if it's inconsistent (Utada Hikaru sings in Danish?!), it can fix it for you. It can also provide interesting information about a song, such as its "color" and what key it's in.

The color is supposed to help you organize your songs. For example, red songs tend to go better with other red songs.

This reminded me of how folks make fansoundtracks and fanmixes for fandoms, characters, pairings, and so on. There's a huge mish-mash of music out there that I never would have heard had it not been someone putting it together for the sake of this fandom we have in common!

With that in mind, I propose a challenge for myself and anyone else who wants to try and take it on.

Pick one of the following colors:

Red
Orange
Yellow
Green
Blue
Indigo
Violet
Magenta
Brown
Black

I will pick five songs that fit into that "color," and you will tell me what fandom to write ficlets or drabbles for them in.

So for example, if you say "Red," you might also say "Sailor Moon," and I have to find five songs that I can somehow relate back to "Sailor Moon," and possibly (somehow) explain why that song fits a "red" color. And I shall do it with fic! You can also give me other information to work with, like a character or pairings, a period of time from canon, etc. (Just don't be overly specific, otherwise it'll be like a commissioned fic or something...)

The only rule: A fandom can't be repeated with the same color.

If you do pick a fandom, please pick one that you know that I know...(as in, have watched/read), even if I've never written for it before. Otherwise it might be too challenging! :P

So, here's what we all get out of this:

Me: practice writing again, a sense of excitement
You: a fanfic or five that you've helped create, some suggestions for interesting songs that fit your fandom/character/pairing of choice! It's like a mini-fanmix!
azurite: (sailormoon - iPunish)
It's still Sunday, it's still Sunday! So I'm back on track with the 30 Days of Sailor Moon meme, and there are only 10 more days to go before it's over! Wah! But I shall not bawl like Usagi, no...I shall be motivated to write on (Frizzy of Sailor Failures poses some interesting questions on the Four King Hell comic, after all), revise on ("Only 16" needs a new title! Suggest away!), and be excited for Sailor Moon!

2012 marks the 20th anniversary of Sailor Moon, while late September 2011 will bring us a revised version of the Sailor Moon manga, courtesy of Kodansha USA (hip-hip-hooray!), and the Sailor V manga to boot! Yahoo! I'm sad I never finished Project: Sailor V sooner, but frankly I had no idea what the hell I was doing, trying to get a scanlating group together, before I even knew what scanlating was. AnViL actually did one, but they didn't do a fabulous job, but at least some folks actually know of Sailor V...and soon, even more will! Huzzah!

And for Anime Expo 2011, I plan on cosplaying the one, the only SAILOR SATURN! At long last! Which form of Saturn, I haven't decided yet--it's basically between her original (anime) form and her Super form...but hey, there's her ORIGINAL form, from the Materials collection, where she's got a standard circular brooch, a purple ring, Saturn earrings without a dangling crystal, and frayed shoulder "sleeves" that are purple instead of white. Oh, and her tiara gem is purple instead of silver, too. Should I do that version instead, be super original?

Anyway, let's get on with the show.

♥ » Day 20 – Worst dressed Soldier )
azurite: (sailormoon - usagi sweater)
Sometimes my devotion to canon irritates me. It's a like a mole I can't remove without surgery. In the spirit of my new class in Instructional Design, here are a few facts:

Given a birthday of June 30 for the character of Usagi Tsukino/Serena from Sailor Moon
AND
Given a typical start month for new school in the month of April in Japan (with the exception of university, which starts in September)
AND
Given the need for high school entrance exams that typically take place in February or March (presumably right before the April when high school would start, but I'm not sure...would they be taken the February/March the year before? That would imply that Year 3 junior high students already know what high schools they've gotten into!)

How is it even remotely feasible for Usagi to be age 16 and still in junior high?

I don't think it is.

The Japanese school system generally follows this numbering: 6, 3, 3, 4. There are six years of primary school (elementary grades 1-6), three years of junior high (grades 7-9), three years of high school (grades 10-12), and four years of university.

If Usagi was 14 years old, as she stated in the first season's early episodes, and in the eighth grade, in 1992, that would give her a birth year of 1978. If eighth grade is her second year of junior high, she still has a year left.

Thus:

Age Range/Year Grade Sailor Moon Anime Season Equivalent Only 16 Universe Date Range for Usagi/Serena
12-13 7 (Year 1) N/A; only Code Name: Sailor V manga N/A; only Code Name: Sailor V manga June 1990-June 1991
13-14 8 (Year 2) Season 1/Classic, part 1 of Season 2/Returns Season 1/Classic July 1991-June 1992
14-15 9 (Year 3) part 2 of Season 2/Romance Season 1/Classic, part 1 of Season 2/Returns July 1992-June 1993 (high school entrance exams in Feb/March 1993 for
the O16 universe)
15-16 10 (Year 1/HS) Sailor Moon S, Sailor Moon SuperS part 2 of Season 2/Romance July 1993-June 1994
16-17 11 (Year 2/HS) Sailor Moon Sailor Stars part 2 of Season 2/Romance, Sailor Moon S, Sailor Moon SuperS, Sailor
Moon Sailor Stars
July 1994-June 1995 (high school entrance exams in Feb/Mar 1995 or SuperS
season in the regular SM universe)
17-18 12 (Year 3/HS) N/A N/A July 1995-June 1996


...So, if I've got all this right, even if Usagi is a bit older than her classmates, being born the June before, and for whatever reason, she wasn't a younger student in an OLDER class (e.g. the year before Ami, Makoto, Minako, and Rei at their schools), there's still no way she'd be 16 and still in junior high.

If she's 16, it's past June 30, 1994. If it's past June 30, 1994, but the other girls are still in junior high, then it's not yet February/March of the year they take their high school entrance exams. So how...? Or do I just have to "screw it" and:

a) Make Usagi 15
b) Remind people that the Silver Crystal "reset" time-space, and the year or more that was filled with the Dark Kingdom's activities essentially got "done over"
c) Have Usagi be older because she flunked a grade or had something wrong with her as a child that kept her from going to school on time
d) use a different school system--one that starts in August/September or so, instead of April.
e) Change the title

How do I handle this? I really don't want to change the title, but I don't want it to be a "pointless" title, either. At some point in the story, Usagi's got to be 16, but if she's 16, then the exams would have happened and she (and the other girls) would be in high school! But the high school entrance exams are a huge thing in Japan (where the story DOES take place, even if I do use dub names...or have used them in the past, I'm still undecided on whether I want to use them for the "Only 16" revision), and I don't want to add that kind of stress onto Usagi, or handwave it and make it non-existent.

The only other option I can think of is for Usagi to NOT go to high school, or, if it's possible, to go to high school late. Somehow with all her friends and everyone, I can't see THAT happening either, but I don't see how else to make the timeline work.

I think I've painted myself into a corner. Help!
azurite: (sailormoon - serenity lifts crystal)
Welcome, welcome, welcome, to the crazy fannish brain that is Mer's...or Andi's...or Azurite's. You know, I've gone through quite a few fandom nicknames in my time, but most people know 'em all. And they're certainly no secret.

I'm usually not secretive with my favorite pairings, either. Usually I'm the first to jump on the bandwagon of "proclaiming love and joy for ('SHIP NAME GOES HERE)!" And then there's this.

Day 6 of the 30 Days of Sailor Moon meme, again using the list from Sailor Failures on Tumblr.

♥ » Day 06 – Couple you wished existed )
azurite: Usagi and Mamoru from the SM manga, with Serenity & Endymion in the background (sailormoon - usamamo serendymion)
And now for one of my favorite topics in all of fandom...romance! 'Shipping! WAFF! TAFF! Orange Crush! (Hey, waitasec...)

Yes, it's time for the 30 Days of Sailor Moon meme once more, brought to you by Sailor Failures on Tumblr.

♥ » Day 05 – Best canon couple )
azurite: (cat and mouse)
Stolen shamelessly from [livejournal.com profile] frannyan. I don't know if there's more to this meme, but I'll do it if there is! :P

→ Take a screenshot of your desktop. (This is actually just one of FOUR desktops I have. But the other ones just have different wallpaper, not anything else...)

→ Take a screenshot your media player (if you have one up). (I finished my taxes and promptly looked up the "Victory Fanfare" from Final Fantasy V. Because my search wasn't specific, it brought up everything else with "Vict" in the title, which is why the Currently Playing is something from another video game. There's TuneUp to the right, with a bizarre cover art suggestion for a Fushigi Yuugi album that's missing art. I don't think Tasuki would like penguins...)

→ Take a screenshot of another program you have up. (This is Cyndicate, my new feed reader. Do I have too many feeds? I'm not even sure if it's working for LJ yet, picking up protected entries/saving cookies. I wish my custom RSS feed--made with an S2 style--would display authors properly, but I wouldn't know how to modify it to get it. Anyone have any ideas?)

→ Pick a tab you have up and take a screenshot of it. (This is a tab where I'm previewing a file I made in RapidWeaver. I liked the theme for "The Rose Chronicles," so I started trying to put it together as a fic site. Problem is, I don't much understand the plugins, so I'm not sure which one is best for a fanfic. Stacks? Blocks? Accordion? Also, the Carousel page I'm using for the Fanart is a little difficult to setup. For some reason some of the art displays to the right of the "page" content area, and some displays to the right. But isn't the thumbnail slider pretty?)

→ YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO CHANGE ANYTHING BEFORE TAKING A SCREENSHOT OF IT

I didn't! They're all just straight screenshots taken with SnapzProX. Does anyone know a screen capture tool which takes screencaps of the whole screen, even what's past the scrollbar? I thought Little Snapper did that, but I'm not sure how....
azurite: (starwars - got leia's buns?)
Back in late August, I wrote a Star Wars/Sailor Moon crossover for [livejournal.com profile] sailormoonland that, for reasons unknown, wasn't included in the Criss-Cross challenge's entries or results. Not sure if I submitted it too late or it was just too darn long (it was too long for a textarea, I know that much), but now that the results are out, I'm free to post it all over the great wide Intarwebz!

Title: Hope
Rating: G/K/For Everyone
Genres: Gen/Sci-Fi

Spoilers: For Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope and Sailor Moon Sailor Stars (season 5 of the anime)

Word Count: 1851
Status: Oneshot, Complete

Summary: Princess Leia Organa is captured by the Empire, and the plans for the Death Star she painstakingly worked to deliver to the Rebel Alliance may have been lost...but a cell mate aboard the battle station gives her hope.

Hope
azurite: (batgirl - spanish inquisition)
For any ficcers or fans that might be wondering, a bit of easy research is just a few keystrokes away.

1. Annie Walker lives in the guest house of her sister, Danielle Brooks and her husband, Michael Brooks.

2. Danielle and Michael have two young daughters, Katia and Chloe. Their ages haven't been definitively specified, but they look to be middle school-age or younger, but older than fourth grade or so.

3. August 'Auggie' Anderson does not seem to know the difference between a two-and-a-half inch Christian Loboutin heel and a kitten heel.

4. Annie Walker does not wear kitten heels to work (or anywhere else during the show's run so far, for that matter). In fact, she explicitly named the designer (and the red sole of the shoe was pretty obvious) of her shoes when she was pretending to be a hooker and picked them up from the hotel with her fake contact.

5. Annie's brief affair in Sri Lanka was with Ben Mercer. His name has been definitively stated as such. However, we don't know if he used that name with Annie (I think he did?) or if it was an alias that he used while in the CIA.

6. It's still not known just who Ben Mercer really is, what he does now, what he did when he was with Annie...anything. Theories abound that he may have been CIA and has since gone rogue, but it's also possible he was simply an asset. Or he could have been burned (a'la Michael Westen in Burn Notice, another USA Network show).

7. Jai Wilcox seemed to recognize Ben when he showed up at the docks--enough to realize Ben was the assassin and had reason to chase after him. This may mean that Jai either joined the DPD because of Ben--as Joan and Arthur's secret conversations have been implying--or that he knows Ben from "the old days...?" Either way, Jai vs. Ben was established!

8. Annie Walker's eyes are brown. Dark brown. Not blue, not green, not hazel, not aqua.

9. In the latest episode (as of 8/22), we found out that Michael (Danielle's husband and Annie's brother-in-law) lost his job. Annie had wrongfully assumed he'd been having an affair. Michael came clean to Danielle at the end of the episode.

10. The person in the mysterious black car that was tailing Annie earlier in the season was Ben. He's been following her, according to Joan and Arthur, and we've seen him show up in places where you don't just randomly see people, like at the train station where Annie nearly got killed, were it not for his timely shooting. Suffice it to say, even when Annie's trying to be sneaky, Ben probably knows where she is, if not because he knows HER, then because he knows the CIA. He might have a "friend" inside, or he might just be a talented hacker himself.
azurite: (disney - ariel ooh shiny!)
Did you know that [livejournal.com profile] 30kisses has been around for over FIVE years? I'm so proud. Anniversaries for things like that are the sort of thing I don't remember, so I don't make a big fuss about it. :P

For those of you that don't know, 30kisses is the fanfiction & fanart challenge community that I run on LiveJournal. It's also got counterparts on Dreamwidth and AO3. People pick a fandom, a pairing (couple of characters), and a Theme Set List with 30 themes, and then try to write to each of those themes, along with a central "core" theme. For example, 30 "kisses," where a "kiss" has to appear in each story/piece of art, along with 30 individual themes. Submissions can use more than one theme at a time, or have one theme spanning multiple chapters, be Alternate Universe/Reality/Timeline/What-have-you, whatever! So it's a great challenge and it's been very popular over the years. I created it in response to the absolute SLOWNESS of the original [livejournal.com profile] 30_kisses community, and I haven't looked back since. Apparently, people like it enough, because FIVE YEARS...!

It's amazing! And we've had some fantastically supportive, active members, one of whom has been churning out great fics for all sorts of fandoms, using various Theme Set Lists, including the most difficult one we've got, List Zeta/memory. As a thank-you and reward, we've given her a 1-Year Paid LJ Account and for completing the list, a 140 userpic Add-On over at LJ. It's not much, considering the community itself isn't paid and doesn't have a fancy layout, but I really wanted to thank people that seriously stick with the community, contribute to fandom, and of course, make my life easier by following all the rules... :D

I'd really like to bring 30kisses over to Dreamwidth, and I've already got the community token used, but I'd rather not have to create a dummy mod account just for the sake of managing the community. If a community can ACT like a regular user, posting entries and whatnot, that would be great. Or maybe you can already do that, and I don't know about it? Can anyone with some DW community experience share?

I'm working on overhauling the Hall of Fame for 30kisses; it's pretty plain looking, but at least the coding is valid, and it's easy to find everyone's entries. Still, I think most people read directly on LJ, because you know what order to read in, exactly what themes go to what number, and so on. I'm not sure if there's an easy way to do that for a Hall of Fame (on LJ or off), considering the SIZE of the HoF. I don't like the idea of breaking it up onto multiple LJ pages. :(

I also want to change up the way the banners look. Five years is enough time using the same narrow, vaguely-cutesy banner with a "kiss/lipstick" logo, right? If you've seen any awesome banners used for awards and the like online, let me know--I need ideas!

I'm very happy about this--among other things--right now. It's a good day, and I've accomplished many things, with the support and belief of others. Thank you, everyone! :)
azurite: (fiction - have written)
Because praise motivates.

the that's my favorite! meme
A FANFICTION PRAISE MEME
azurite: (twilight - fursplode!)
So I saw "Eclipse" the other night with Stephanie. I didn't pay for it: she used passes! So I have kept my promise of never paying for anything involving "Twilight," except for the time I saw the first movie, and that was genuinely for the LULZ. I was so obnoxious--and I admit it!--during the screening that it more than made up for the cost of the movie and the Junior Mints I think I ate. I wasn't quite as obnoxious during this screening, but it was great to know there were other folks in the theatre who just saw it for the LULZ.

FURSPLODE! )
azurite: (cupcake sombrero!)
So I threw my hat in the ring for the [livejournal.com profile] gulf_aid_now auction to help various relief efforts for the communities and areas affected by the Gulf Oil Spill.

Check out my thread in the fic post for a 1,500 word minimum fic from a variety of fandom(s). You can even request a crossover!

I might also volunteer to do a website layout and/or icons, other graphical stuff, but maybe I'll wait until a future round for graphics-related stuff.

Thought: what if someone were to bid and ask for the next chapter of WDKY? I mean, I have motivation to finish it anyway, but if said person donated a huge sum to my charity of choice (Greater New Orleans foundation, in case you're curious) and said "GIMME IT BEFORE JULY 31, WOMAN!" I think I would be more hard-pressed to get it done on time. :P Just throwing it out there....
azurite: (all muses are busy...)
These tend to be fun, even if I should actually be, yanno, writing fic.

Stolen shamelessly from [livejournal.com profile] rose_of_pollux.

To fic or not to fic: that is the question! )
azurite: (bunninated!)
Ripped in its entirety from [livejournal.com profile] dqbunny

Give me a person or 'ship and I will write one sentence of each of the following ten genres for them. The genres are:

1. Angst
2. AU
3. Crack!fic Plot
4. Crossover
5. First Time
6. Fluff
7. Humor
8. Hurt/Comfort
9. Smut
10. UST

Note: I will skip over #9 if the pairing is not appropriate, either due to age or situation, for that category.
azurite: (fiction - have written)
So rather than wail about all the Post-Its I have lying around with things to do, my near-empty Listography book, and the things I wish were working out, instead, a list of things I've accomplished today, big and small:

* Read a lot of emails and deleted the ones I don't need (have several thousand to go, but boo hoo)

* Heard back from both Adobe and JourneyEd regarding CS5: I have to spend $449 if I want it, because I don't qualify for the post-announce free upgrade, and there's no discount for an "upgrade" version of Design Premium from CS4 to CS5. So that, plus a camera are now on my Wish List.

* Got approved for the "In Plain Sight" - Mary x Marshall fanlisting - now I just need a name for it! YAY!?

* May be on the waiting list for a focus group and put my name out there for another one; they pay well and don't take long, so why not?

* Put the dishes away

* Registered for the NSCS Region 5 Summit in Seattle, WA on July 6th and 7th. It's my last conference as an NLC member (well, a "retiring" NLC member)!

* Am researching travel options for getting up to Seattle, esp. so soon after cousin Erin's wedding in Los Angeles on the 4th. Virgin America and Southwest are looking the cheapest, since the Amtrak Coast Starlight just doesn't mesh with my needed arrival and departure times. (Also: Anime Expo from July 1-4! So 1-3 = Anime Expo, 4 = Wedding + Fireworks, 5 = ? 6-7 = Seattle! Talk about a packed schedule for one week!)

* Also researching potential post-graduation travel options. Should I go down to San Diego after my orthodontist's appointment, and then head back up with Aunt Joyce in time for the bridal shower, or hang out in North Hills with cousin Jill and fam for a few days and meet up with Joyce on the day of the shower? Train ticket to S.D. would cost me $30-32, but it's more like "What the heck would I do down there?" and "Would I be intruding?" I suppose I should ask at least, so I have the option open, right?

* Got a huge scene done in the revision of Only 16, Chapter 2: A Look Back, which starts the flashbacks that reveal more about Serenity and Endymion's past. I'm contemplating deleting those from Endymion's point of view altogether, since Only 16 really is Serena's story, and even if Darien DOES remember his past completely and is just hiding it from Serena, why give him THAT much screen time? Isn't it more suspenseful having you wonder how things are really going from his end? I've only gone into his POV a few times in the revision so far, and never very deeply. But re-reading Lilac Summers' "First Truths" has made it a lot easier to 'ship them again (*shock!*).

* Updated WikiFic to 1.15.3, and added the much-debated lyrics of "Ahead of the Game." Mass consensus agrees that the garbled lyrics in the second verse are "My liquidity, giant balance sheet. All my secrets, Hey! I'll even cheat." Though how "I'll even cheat" makes sense when Kaiba (whose image song this is) is bragging about how much smarter, more creative, etc. he is than his opponent, isn't cheating making him look worse, not better? I personally think he should have said "I won't even cheat," as if he's restraining himself from cheating just to get a horrible duel over with. What do you think?

* Got started on my graduation announcements--the paper ones. A few family members left to get addresses for and send out, and then...have to figure out the rest. *bats eyelashes* Can YOU come?

MOAR LEFT:
* Dabble in revisions and/or additions to the following fics: Aftermath of Angels (FF8 x YGO), You and Me (body-swap YGO Azureship fic; thanks a lot for reminding me, [livejournal.com profile] mischiefmagnet!)
* Story-So-Far comparison of the book Paprika to the movie
* Revisions to previous chapters of WDKY + uploading to all the usual suspect sites -- someone on AnimeXX.de asked me if they could do a German translation of the fic! I can't read German to save my life, so should I say yes and just pray they do a decent job, or say no because I'd never be able to understand it?
azurite: (sailormoon - angel)
So, bad girl that I am, I've been working more on the revisions for Only 16 than I have been WDKY27. For shame. But it certainly helps that Only 16 is already written, has been written, and I've had years to stew over what I hate about it.

Namely, the appearance of the three "Sue-Senshi," the Fates. They're going buh-bye, and I don't mind telling you so. I normally would strive harder so that any "New Senshi" fics would somehow work out without them taking over the story, but "Only 16" was never about them in the first place, so it makes sense not to let the story end with them. It actually makes the MOST sense to never let them enter the story in the first place, since the story can be told without them, and having them in it was just a cheap way of tying up loose ends.

Getting rid of them altogether, however, means a whole new ending, and a lot of new emotional twists to get the story there. I've been thinking of a few that have been driving me crazy (along the lines of "Are you nuts? What fandom there is left will rip you a new one!") but I'm almost tempted just to try it and see if I can do it well enough to be considered "a good fic." It would be especially awesome to have some of the ladies that originally read O16 give me their opinions of the revision as I work my way through it; Chapter One is already up at FFnet and AO3 and I'm working on a version that will display properly on MMorg (the other chapters are still up on FFnet, but they're the fugly old ones; read at your own risk).

Anyway, all this planning for a new, proper ending of Only 16 has had me thinking about a few things, namely:

The differences between the Sailor Moon anime and manga, especially starting with my favorite arc, Sailor Moon R (Part 2 in the anime, because Part 1 was that "filler arc" featuring Ail and Ann, the aliens that never showed up in the manga because that arc was made explicitly so Naoko had more time to work on the manga).

More specifically, the huge, canon-impacting differences toward the end of the series: not just the Starlights being MTFs in the anime (so to speak), but the fact that there is no Galaxy Cauldron! In the last episode of the anime, Serenity chooses NOT to fight and that becomes her strength: her willpower to not give up but not fight is very different from the Eternal Sailor Moon that willingly gave up her life to reboot the Cauldron and "be one" with her former enemies in the manga.

You know how I love time travel and such? I thought since Pluto plays a role in Sailor Moon R, she could feature more heavily in Only 16 and still not rely on outsiders like the "Fates," and there'd be more of a big message (because my best stories, IMO, tend to have explicit messages like that in them, even if others don't realize it necessarily) about our decisions and things like regret.

I got to thinking HOW I could pull it off, but I remembered the differences between the anime (in which Only 16 takes place, because the break-up never occurs in the manga, and that's really the crux of Only 16) and the manga, and now I'm wondering how it could ever take place in the anime-verse. In the anime, we don't see Sailor Cosmos (explicitly; the Light of Hope certainly seems to resemble her, but it's also said that the Light of Hope IS Galaxia's Star Seed, meaning Sailor Moon herself is NOT the Light of Hope, but Galaxia is! Kind of odd, actually...), there's no Guardian Cosmos, no Cauldron, no decision to live "as we are" instead of birthing a new star, and no travel into the 30th century for a conception and a wedding!

All that being said, it may still be possible to pull off the idea I have, but I wonder if combining in elements from the manga might make it easier than trying to wrap the different anime canon around the facts I already have. It could still work, just...weirder, slightly different. And I'm being vague, I know, because I'm excited about this potential plot twist and don't want to ruin it entirely.

Anyone want to beta the revisions?
azurite: (azureshipping - reflection)
So I joined [community profile] list50 on Dreamwidth ([livejournal.com profile] list50 on LJ) because they're having a mini-list-festa right now, where you can list less than 50 (10, 15, 20, 30) of your favorite fics/art/vids/whatever that fit a certain theme, genre, what-have-you.

I, of course, selected Azureshipping/Seto x Anzu from Yu-Gi-Oh. You don't have to "claim" the lists like you do with other communities, since these are just lists of recs, and unlike [livejournal.com profile] rec50, where apparently you have to be more detailed in your recs, this is really: just. lists. It's very convenient, and kind of adventurous! There are already loads of great lists out for tons of cool fandoms, so I highly recommend you check it out. (I rec the recs!)

I probably could have done a full list of 50, but I wanted to keep it short and stick with some of the most memorable ones that covered a variety of genres, with a minimal amount of WiPs. Of course, I didn't include a single one of my own fics. :P

I would, however, appreciate input on other fics that I may not know about for an extended version of this list. I culled my selections from my FFnet favorites page and LiveJournal memories, but I know there are more awesome fics out there that I've either stupidly forgotten to bookmark in some fashion or have never gotten the chance to read.

Here we go!

The list + stuff )

Not cool

Mar. 1st, 2010 02:11 pm
azurite: Part of the "What Doesn't Kill You" series of fanfic icons. Original art by Mamono! (wdky15)
From a recent review for WDKY:

Look, you have had this story up for a while now and I have not seen an update. I don't know if maybe your lazy or what but if you don't update soon I'm deleting this story from bookmark. Your just taking way to long to do a simple update, its sad really.  I hope you don't have writers block or something, but even if you do get over it.  If your not going to continue the story please say so, just tell us that the story is discontinued.

Hope you get off your ** and write

from a soon to be lost reader


I don't know why I'm even acknowledging a review with such godawful spelling and grammar, but it's the message that counts: WDKY is not discontinued. I know I take a long time to update, but that's because--horrors! shock!--I have a real life. I've recently graduated from university, am pursuing a second degree, moved away from my home for the last five years, and am now looking for a job.

Also, yeah, I'm a bit uninspired. I think about WDKY and my other fics a lot, but I can't make myself sit down and write. The bug's just not there. I'd rather not write crap when I know that my writing can be great IF I put my mind to it.

WDKY27 is probably 75% done, but I'd rather not further extend what I've already stated is 36 chapters just because what I have done is "good enough" but is not the complete story I want for that chapter. I'm going to write the rest, and I'm going to get it beta'd, and it's going to take as long as it needs.

It sucks if I lose a reader, but honestly? I don't write to cater to their demands. I've never been that kind of a writer, and can't see myself ever becoming one.

If you, dear reader, would like to see what I have of WDKY27 so far, I'd be happy to put it up here and get some suggestions, advice, critiques, motivations, whatever. I'd love to get it done, especially since my self-imposed deadline of finishing the whole damn fic by graduation (May 18, FYI) isn't going to happen.

I'd say that getting a job is more of a priority, considering how broke I am, but I also know that having a job means having LESS time to work on WDKY, so anything I can get done would be a god-send, even if I have to work out of order, work on other fics, or even work in other fandoms to get my muse going again.

But reviews like these? Yeah, they don't help. I get guilty enough from the good reviews that actually are polite and nice and thoughtful, let alone mean ones that accuse me of being lazy or mean.
azurite: (sailormoon - crescent wand look)
Another meme. I'm bored.

Comment on this post saying you want to do this. I will choose seven interests from your profile and you will explain what they mean and why you are interested in them. Post this along with your answers in your own journal so that others can play along.

Ganked from [livejournal.com profile] rose_of_pollux, so she selected the seven interests; feel free to ask about other ones, but then expect me to ask about yours!

Interesting! )
azurite: (fiction - have written)
Pick one of my stories and I will tell you the first line of its sequel. Even if I was never actually planning to write a sequel. Even if it already has a [posted] sequel -- I'll give you the first line of another version of its sequel!

Swiped from [livejournal.com profile] a_white_rain and [livejournal.com profile] aishuu.

Also, note: sequel ≠ next chapter for those works that are sadly still-in-progress. Just an FYI! :}
azurite: (Default)
Bad News: Yesterday I bought The Sims 3 at $20 off MSRP from Target. I opened it up this afternoon with the intent of installing it only to discover...no DVD! I thought at first that maybe that's why they give you the "plumbob" USB drive, but nope: nothing but music, wallpapers, and other such extras on that. I also didn't get the green carabiner as shown on the box.

I wonder if I have to go back to the exact same Target to switch it out? I know I'll have to open the new copy in-store, since I don't want to go home and end up gypped again.... yeesh.

Also, Frustrating News: still no solution on getting my bookmarks OFF my Android myTouch 3G phone. All kinds of ways to get my bazillions of computer bookmarks ON THERE, but that's not the point. I don't care about that. I want my bookmarks OFF, and I can't even do it when I plug in my phone to my laptop, because of all the data recognized when I mount it, none of it seems to be "bookmarks." Maybe it's hidden, or under a weird name or strange file type...any suggestions? My Google-fu has failed me in this regard. It's no good if I have to get another phone browser, unless it can IMPORT the bookmarks from the default phone browser and then allow me to export them elsewhere. There are bookmark apps, but none I've seen with export. Does this mean I just have to wait for Android 2.0 or a Bookmark Sync feature from Google? *le sigh*

Good News: I did finally get a gel skin, a wrist strap, and a new protective screen. I still intend on switching out my ZAGG screen that got fuzz-covered for a new one, but maybe AFTER I've gotten more settled here. Hopefully this means the back of my phone won't keep coming off and letting the battery pop out.

More Frustrating News: Still no solution as of yet for how to edit my custom Layer Style on LiveJournal that I use for getting an RSS feed of my Friends' Page, even the authenticated entries. NetNewsWire is the only RSS reader I know that lets me log in and stay logged in, and while it's been working mysteriously good for the past few weeks, it's annoying trying to decipher entry subject lines among HTML. Other RSS readers convert it to actual links; I don't care either way. I posted to [profile] everything_lj, but no response yet. :( I'd try figuring it out myself, except I don't want to break the layer altogether, especially not when it's actually working!

Good News: I started reading a new Egyptian historical fiction, Michelle Moran's "The Heretic Queen." So far, so good. I'm actually getting somewhat inspired for CO7, which is better than nothing. I'm starting to develop the opinion that to write something--anything--is better than to write nothing at all and be stuck in this rut of "have to write in order!" At least if I have some scenes down, I can work with a beta or someone to fill in the blanks.

Eh News: I've got a few ideas for some GD articles, but they're comparable to the form of clouds: light and wispy. I'll need time to get them solidified, and in the meantime, there's homework!

Oh! News: Turns out my DeVry professor was right about the whole Photoshop slice badge thing in my last quiz. It was a trick question; the slice badges CAN display whether or not a slice is linked, but only in the optimization process, not with normal slices (although the question probably should have specified that, using "normal slices" instead of just "slices" in general), and rollover effect badges aren't seen since ImageReady went the way of the dodo. So...yeah, layer-based. Whoop-de-doo, it's only 2 points. I'm still getting an A. And it feels good to at least have clarified and asked, because otherwise I would still be confused and a little angry.

I LOL'd

Feb. 7th, 2010 01:00 am
azurite: (ygo - kaiba encounters fanfiction)
Over time one gets the chance to realize one’s faults and learns to accept [them] as a part of life. Those that recognize [them] but refuse to work [on] them or accept them are doomed to a degree of misery and [dissatisfaction].

This is especially dangerous with individuals who are rich and powerful, though there are numerous exceptions [to] this rule like Hugh Jackman.

--From a Seto x Anzu fanfiction (brackets indicate edits; emphasis mine)

See: subject line.

I get that Hugh Jackman's hot and funny, but fangirl much? How exactly would anyone know about Jackman not accepting his faults? Or is this trying to say that Jackman's not dangerous, or that he's not doomed to dissatisfaction?

Is Hugh Jackman the new guy to compare to Seto Kaiba or something?! (I could never imagine HJ playing SK in any sort of live-action Yu-Gi-Oh! movie, even if SK were the same age as HJ presently is.)
azurite: (inuyasha - sesshomaru (unexpected hero))
So I've been watching Inuyasha: The Final Act on Shonen Sunday's website (yay for free subbed anime every week), and the most recent episode actually got me thinking about fandom meta and fic, considering nothing I ever expect actually happens in Inuyasha. Though, I never finished watching the MAIN series, so I can't say for sure how it (or the manga, for that matter) really ended.

Still. Osuwari! )
azurite: (ffx - yuna summons)
I think I mentioned this in a thread that sprung out of another thread about fanfiction meta or some such, and I got to thinking: it WOULD be kind of cool to have a list for 30kisses or a similar challenge community that dealt with status effects! You know, the ones from video games? Usually they're bad, but there are some good ones, too, and I had to use those to do some of the list.

This is a tentative list at the moment, and could go for some rearranging and better explanation, but what do you think for now? What would you think if I introduced it for [livejournal.com profile] 30kisses? (I'm afraid the way it currently is would only be appealing to those writing for video game fandoms, but I know there's a way to get it to work for all other fandoms--what I need is a good core theme. "Ailments" doesn't work since some are positive, but some people might think "good" status effects are actually "ailments" depending on who's got them or how they act, right? Anyway, check out the list.

30 Statuses )
azurite: (cupcake sombrero!)
I joined Archive of Our Own (which I was strangely calling AoOW for some reason) recently and put the [livejournal.com profile] 30kisses lists up there as a Collection for people to post to. Given the difference in format between LJ and AO3, I had to adapt some of the rules, but so far I think it's a great option. I've offered to "bang on the code" for the coders and test what I can, but I have yet to hear back from the Volunteer & Recruiting Team, which I just emailed earlier today.

I think I finally started reading a [livejournal.com profile] metafandom post that had me reading about how [livejournal.com profile] yuletide moved to AO3 and that got some people's knickers in a twist. I've never participated in Yuletide or really known all that much about it, so I wanted to read more. Some users felt shafted by mods freezing or deleting threads/posts asking about just why Yuletide's move to AO3 made other users unhappy, but the mods basically said: it's off-topic, it's debate, and we just don't want it here.

So users could host debates or explanations or whatnot elsewhere, but yeah, the community's for Yuletide, leave it at that, even in the comment threads of mod posts discussing the move.

But I am still curious: why do some people dislike AO3 so much?
azurite: (sailormoon - usagi sweater)
How is it that nearly 15 years after the CONCLUSION of Sailor Moon, people still fail to do the basic things that would make for a good fic? I'm sure this could be translated to almost any fandom, but as I was perusing through the Sailor Moon section on the new "Archive of Our Own", I noticed several things happen again and again.

Maybe it's just my bad luck, picking fics that sound interesting without paying attention to whether the author's different each time. Usually, if an author writes something that causes me to click the "Back" button, I won't give that author a second chance unless the summary sounds really good. Which means if an author "sux at summeries," then they're screwed trying to get me back as a reader. Boo, I'm sure they'll find some less-discerning n00b who doesn't have my standards.

But it's kind of sad, how the fandom doesn't improve with age, as a great fandom like Sailor Moon ought to.

How is that people are still writing fics where:
* The Japanese character names are used, but the dub attack names are, too?

* Regardless of original vs. dub, the wrong season's attacks are used? (I get that the other Senshi, like Mars, Mercury, and so on might reuse their old attacks, but SAILOR MOON NEVER DOES. Especially not her wand-based attacks. In other words, she can't do "Moon Healing Activation" (dub) with the "Cutie Moon Rod," a.k.a. that thing she's got in Sailor Moon R.

* There's the still use the tried-and-trite cliché of the Senshi lambasting Usagi, not noticing she's actually hurt or something? It was made canonically clear in the anime (the one version of the series where they really ganged up on her, and where the whole Rei vs. Usagi thing is a bit of a recurring joke) that the only time they've ever fought is to get the attention of the bad guys--not because they actually believe any of it. They all know without Usagi, they'd be screwed. The planet would be screwed. Telling her she's klutzy, useless in battle, etc. is sort of useless--even if any of them actually had the stupidity to believe it for a split second because Sailor Moon was "late" to a battle for whatever reason.

* No one can take an ill/amnesiac/stuck-in-her-transformed-state Usagi in except Mamoru (who recently broke up with her but MINOR DETAIL)? Ami lives with her mother, a doctor, who knows and likes Usagi, though she's hardly ever home because she's a workaholic at the hospital. Makoto doesn't live with anyone, though it's very possible she's got an anal-retentive landlord that disallows visitors. It happens. But what about Rei? The girls have had plenty of meetings or sleepovers at the temple! And Minako's parents might be bitchy (in the manga, she made it sound like she really disliked them), but I think in an emergency, they might be fine...assuming they're even home.

* Basic Japanese words are not translated. I admit I was guilty of it when I first started out, but with the Internet being so damn prevalent and so many hundreds of thousands of SM fics in existence (lots of "best of" and "top 10" lists to refer to for quality fiction), it seems silly that people still do this. Stop using "Nani" and "onegai" and "konnichiwa!" and stuff. The only Japanese people can honestly get away with are: a) words with ambiguous translations; b) words with no English equivalent; c) words that are culturally significant, like honorifics. I don't see a point in using "Onii~san" and stuff when "Big Brother" or "Older Brother" or "Mister" (assuming you, the author, know who is talking to whom and whether or not they have a real familial relationship, let alone a respectful one) work just as well.

* Mixing up of manga facts and anime canon. Mamoru breaks up with Usagi only in the anime. Evil!Endymion is in both the anime and the manga, but the way he acts and who he is seen with differentiates the two. Ice prison, senshi death, and black-eyed Endymion? All manga, all the time. Don't mix them up!

I'm sure there are others, but yeesh, to have so many in a few minutes of one fic should give me reason enough to click "Back" and really swear off this author once and for all, right? Forget "Transformative Works," a crappy fanfic is still a crappy fanfic. Plus, the more clichés that serve as plot devices, the more that sour taste in my mouth intensifies...really now, some excuse to revert Usagi into Serenity just so Mamoru can have a flowery guilt complex over his breakup and then Serenity can somehow "connect" or turn back into Usagi and everything is explained and all are happy? Baaaah!
azurite: Part of the "What Doesn't Kill You" series of fanfic icons (wdky (general))
If I've got a story -scenes, moments, whatever- in my head, should I just get it out of my head by writing it, instead of writing outlines of the scene in a file and storing it away until later?

It bothers me that I keep thinking of these other stories, other ideas, other universes other than WDKY, because I REALLY want to get WDKY done. But whenever I think of it and its characters, I get off-topic and go to this other story (you can probably tell by now that the characters are the same, but the story is different).

Maybe I should start becoming the sort who writes fics and posts them when they're done, instead of being this insane WIPer? I wonder if that'd help keep the hair in (on?) my head.

OSM!

Aug. 4th, 2009 04:03 pm
azurite: (back to the future - save the clock towe)
So, I'm chilling here at SFO (San Francisco International Airport, for those that don't speak airport code). I shelled out $7.99 for a T-Mobile Hotspot Day Pass, because even though I don't visit airports (or Starbucks, or even Borders) quite often enough to get a Hotspot account/shell out $40 a month, sitting here for 3 hours nursing a Coca-Cola and reading the August issue of Wired just doesn't cut it for me. I need to be connected, which is kind of sad. I sort of miss my childhood. :P

Tech jargon )

More win and OSM )

I'm actually somewhat looking forward to going home, if just to sleep on my own bed (though the AeroBed Mom got was pretty damn comfortable, no matter what Eva said about it being too soft) and have steady Wi-Fi in all my usual haunts. Also, MAIL! And money. And work for a week, until I have to get my butt to DC. And in-between all that, family visits and the Orange County Fair. Should be fun.

Meanwhile, Michael Jackson's "Beat It" is stuck in my head, along with a plotbunny for a multichapter Sailor Moon fic I meant to write for [livejournal.com profile] sm_monthly and never got around to. I mean really, ANOTHER multichapter? I wish I could churn stuff out as fast as [livejournal.com profile] moodwriter, with her "Hate, Prejudice and Secret Intentions" (I think I got that title right) Dramione fic that I've been reading lately. Good stuff! I've also got to catch up on Stargirl's "Tsuki no Namida," an AR of the Silver Millennium, since the latest chapter is up for critiquing on one of [livejournal.com profile] the_circlet communities. I'm not a big fan of walking into a long-ish multi-chapter fic blind, so I'll start with the beginning and go from there. So far, it's got an interesting premise but some grammar issues that irk me. But hey, SAILOR MOON FIC. I ought to get writing!
azurite: (twilight - sparkle motion)
Can anyone point me at a Wiki or something that explains how vampires work in the CLAMP-verse? I mean xxxHolic/Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles and wherever they sourced their vampires from, like X/1999 or some other CLAMP vampire title.

I know "game" (gah-may) comes into play somehow, but I'm not sure how. Help?

Heartstorm

Jul. 13th, 2009 01:59 pm
azurite: (disney - ariel ooh shiny!)
So, I finally got to the last save point in Kingdom Hearts. Needless to say I've got some questions and ideas. I may have spoiled myself silly about Kingdom Hearts II and the other games, like Chain of Memories and Birth by Sleep and 358/2 Days, but that doesn't mean I'll do it to others.

I can haz keyblade? )
azurite: (Default)

Royal Straight Flush
by ~ the-sweet on deviant ART

Hm, DeviantART's hookup to LiveJournal doesn't seem to be up-to-date. Or maybe it's my Firefox 3.5 beta, which makes some things fabulous and other things annoying as all heck (cookie leakage and this "tag stripping"). Anyway.

Presenting, my latest and thus far possibly greatest Fan (Otaku) Senshi creation! I don't know how this originally got into my head, but once there, it got stick until I finally slapped it together the day before yesterday. The only reason why I'm sharing it here is because it's not merely a heavily-Photoshopped Sailor X v2.10 generator image, it's a plot bunny in the making.

Artist's Notes )

I don't know if they'd actually be "Sailor Heart" and "Sailor Club" and so forth, but that is the general theme going on here. Also, I'm pretty sure Sailor Kakyuu's cards weren't even playing cards, but those "Magic: The Gathering"-type cards, but her attack *IS* "Royal Straight Flush" (if I'm not mistaken), and you can't get a Royal Straight Flush with MTG cards! Plus, there's probably a way to work that element into the would-be story for more dramatic purposes! Bwaha.

I wish I could have done a better job with Club's lace skirt. And maybe I should have done more with the gradient effects, but I knew I wanted them all to have similar Super-style uniforms (in terms of number of skirts and such), so I didn't want to give them gradient effects on that. Barring doing some crazy stuff with the hair (and I totally could have! Sailor California could probably benefit from such a re-do), that left the shoes to play with, which is why Heart and Spade have the gradient-effect shoes. (I wouldn't have done it with the suits themselves, since the background on standard playing cards is white.)

I don't think I've written any drama/action fics for the SM universe for some time, let alone one starring otaku senshi. If I wrote this, it would (fortunately or unfortunately), be epic. Gaaah. (Is it ironic that I own the Yu-Gi-Oh! Oneshot C2 on FFnet? I mean SERIOUSLY. ONESHOTS? ME!?)

Big Bad

May. 12th, 2009 11:08 pm
azurite: (fiction - have written)
Eek, big bad final exam tomorrow.

Still haven't finished my Shakespeare essay. Maybe once I get public relations stuff out of my brain, Shakespeare will come to me easier. And then when THAT'S out of my brain, I can finish my belated Fanswap assignment (I got an extension/excuse, so participants don't have to worry about me just being one of those evil non-submitters).

Mac OS X updated to 10.5.7 today. I guess I'm one of those folks who doesn't mind upgrading, because if it's from Apple, I typically trust that it's an update for a good reason. Of course, I read the "What's Changed in this Version" notes for any updates to ANY software I get, which might make me a bit unusual...anyway, I found this rather amusing tidbit:



They changed the Energy Saver icon in the System Preferences to a CFC bulb! HA! Cute, Apple, real cute.

Also, the plotbunny I've been tending to--the one that's the trans-dimensional offspring of the second daughter of WDKY (a.k.a. the spin-off of the third story in the WDKY series)--has gotten a lot larger. I suddenly thought of TWO FULL ARCS for it, meaning the story (which only exists in note-form) is now at least 16 chapters long. And I suddenly thought of a socio-politcal twist to it (that's been happening a lot with my fic ideas lately. I wonder why?). I wonder if this is what happened to JKR when she was writing "Harry Potter?" The idea sounds cool and you fiddle for it with a while and then of a sudden: IDEASPLOSION! Of course, "Harry Potter" was an original series and this is a fanfic that won't see the light of day for some time now, so it puts me in quite the pickle.

That's my new catchphrase as of late: "in a pickle." Hm. Pickles.

Time flies

Apr. 20th, 2009 08:47 am
azurite: (cupcake sombrero!)
Ah, another Ed Hardy sale! The discounted prices at ideeli are actually quite reasonable, but it's for two things I'd never use/wear: purses and a scarf!

Of course, upon graduating I assume I'm going to have to alter my wardrobe a bit to fit in with the so-called "real world," and maybe then I'll get into things like accessorizing with scarves, but until then I'll just stare at the beautiful art that is the Ed Hardy line and imagine a day when something I'll actually use/wear will come out (without making me look like a total conformist!?).

(That said, I saw a clip of Zac Efron's "17 Again" with him dressed ENTIRELY in Ed Hardy, and telling his friend-playing-father that "Kevin Federline wore this!" as if that was supposed to make it "cool" to wear in a high school. But yeah, it's K-Fed... So now it makes me wince to think of someone showing off "too much" Ed Hardy.)

Keyword Manager for iPhoto (by Bullstorm) has finally been updated to 1.5! This means it's compatible with iPhoto '09. Huzzah! I already downloaded and installed mine; since I'd purchased a previous version, the upgrade was free (I think). Another way of getting organized: labeling all my pictures with metadata tags!

I added a few old entries (some of them Friends Locked, because let's be honest here: I was stupid not having protections on my old blog back in the day) from my old Blue Reflections blog, back when it was powered by Greymatter and on the rosedreams.org domain. I'm working my way through 2002, and it's sadly amusing, the kind of stuff I wrote. I've got a lot more to go before I'm all "caught up," though.

Finally signed up at Ping.fm (thanks to an article on helpful websites on GeekSugar). As I was going through the various websites/networks to add, I was surprised at a) how many I'm on and b) how many I'm not on. I guess there's something to be said for simplicity: I mean, what's the point of being on too many of the same site? (That sounds lame. I'm on every big name social networking site because of the fact that, the more places you are, the easier it is to find you--for better or for worse!)

Let's see, my networks are: Twitter, Facebook, AIM, GTalk, MySpace, LinkedIn, FriendFeed, LJ (duh), Delicious, Friendster, and Yahoo 360. Hey, that's actually not that many! And some of them (e.g. Facebook and LiveJournal; FriendFeed and... well, everything) are already connected, which gives me the mental image of playing cat's cradle with something very sticky.

Finally had my appointment at the Klotz Student Health Center dental clinic-- they kept having to reschedule my appointment! I got worked on by a student intern today, but everything looks/feels fine; I'm just hoping the numbness on the entire lower right-hand side of my face goes away soon.

As I was leaving the Health Center, they were showing "Armageddon" on DVD. I thought it actually looked cool, and, shockingly enough, I've never seen it. So that's to be added to my list of movies to see (both on DVD and in theatres). I also want to see "17 Again" and still "Fast & Furious" as well as "Confessions of a Shopaholic" and probably "The Soloist" (even if Jamie Foxx is a touch-and-go kind of guy; sometimes I think he's a great actor, other times I think he's a bizarre, if downright rude man).

I also decided to shift gears on my as-yet-unwritten submission for [livejournal.com profile] sm_fanswap. I was originally going to do this dark, political piece, but I think I'm going to shift that to the back burner and work on an older idea that still fits the requirements for the swap. Of course, I can't say more.... :X

DeviantART finally has gotten its act together-- or at least part of it. I don't know if there have been any HUGE changes in policy or significant changes in management (such as firing the douches that make dA look like it was being run by a bunch of bigoted idiots), but there is a new category for doll edits, which are one of my primary forms of fanart submissions. It's nice to be recognized! I still disagree with their policy that they should be "Scraps," because they say that they're prepackaged and there's no effort involved. Uh, excuse me, the dolls are a collaborative effort! On top of that, a lot of the ones I post are heavily modified in Photoshop, and I think the hours spent count as EFFORT. That said, I have put most of the dolls into the new category, but some of them won't go in, supposedly because the only filetype allowed is GIF. WTF, dA!? Since when are PNGs a bad file type for dolls? Not every dollmaker uses GIF files, and on top of that, if we DO "tool" the dolls ourselves, we should be able to save the resulting file however we like! GRR!

Do any Mac users have a recommendation for a good time-tracking utility? Specifically, I'd like something that integrates with iCal so I can keep track of how much I should make from the hours I spend at work. If I ever did freelancing or consultation stuff (for web design or just general tech support), it'd be nice if this tool had an invoicing feature, too. I've heard of several, but I want to know if anyone on this FL actually HAS one and used it, and of course, liked it.

Ah, so much to do, so little time.
azurite: (cat and mouse)
THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR ALL THE BIRTHDAY WISHES!!!!!! I was honestly astounded by how many of them I got across LJ, Facebook, and everything. I got calls and E-Cards and real cards and I was just so flabbergasted, so THANK YOU!

I didn't do anything yesterday specifically birthday-ish, especially since it was a regular class day. I did dress up a bit (which meant by 9pm when the meeting ended I was freezing cold), but of course I had to change for my Yoga class. Predictably, on my actual birthday time (1:17 p.m.), I was so relaxed in my class that I wasn't even paying attention to the time! After Yoga, I had to go to work (lunchless, because I'd tried to see my advisor about Fall semester's Journalism classes; she was in a meeting!). Finally, at 5pm, I got a break, so I went to Subway, where everyone very nicely wished me a happy birthday there. Turns out Nobbs Auditorium for the NSLS meeting was already open, so I set up in there. I got everything set up and got to talk to Scott on the phone, and then the meeting got underway!

For once, there were no technical glitches, let alone anything else! To top it off, Romina got me a HUGE cupcake with green and pink and orange frosting (I couldn't possibly finish it in one sitting, but it's not for my lack of trying), so I suppose you could say I had my cake and I ate it too! Sure, it wasn't red velvet, but that's okay-- a fancy cake like that is best served at schmancy settings or big parties, right?

In any case, while I wish I could relax and take it easy for the rest of the semester, it's only going to get busier from here on out. I thought today would be a day of lab time, with one big class project due, but it turns out I do have a wet lab for biology followed by a presentation in my Public Relations class. Good thing people are finally responding to the emails I've been sending about the project; I think we'll be able to get everything put together and ready for later. Plus, today is also Matador Dollar Day, and I wanted to go to check that out... I could probably use the financial advice!

Thursday involves more classes, hopefully advisement for Journalism, and then Friday I've got another dental appointment, work, and then a lifeskills institute course I want to check out. And then, and then.... San Diego this weekend! Huzzah. Hopefully sleeping on my aunt Joyce's couch won't be uncomfortable at all; I think I need the relaxation, even if it is a Big Family Get-Together and normally "relaxation" isn't part of that package. Plus, I should technically be working on all my projects during the weekend, like my [livejournal.com profile] sm_fanswap project and WDKY27 and such!

For some reason my left thumb hurts and I don't know why.

 Duel Monsters by Shinkichi Mitsumune from 遊☆戯☆王デュエルモンスターズ・Sound Duel3 (Rating: 0)
azurite: (blue flower)
Well, spring break has at last come to a close. It went fast, but at least it was fun and relaxing. It certainly was nice sleeping in till around 10:30 a.m. every day; tomorrow my "waking up at 6:30 a.m." routine begins anew. Oh, and also my habit of going to the Arbor Grill for occasional morning breakfasts; I'm looking forward to enjoying a breakfast burrito again after a week of waffles, cereal, and toast.

I didn't post during spring break even though I had the time; it was more like my thoughts were pretty scattered and I tried to be out as much as possible-- or at least doing stuff.

I went to Opening Night for the Giants at AT&T Park with Steph, Kathryn, Nora, and a guy named Melvin who was only there for a blip of time, it seemed. I shouted myself hoarse and then ended up sick as a result-- I've got awful congestion, a dry nose (ow) and an occasional cough, but I hope to be better by my birthday. I'm being smart about what I'm eating and drinking, and that, of course, includes medicines to help me get over this.

I also got to see Evie, Eva, Crystal, and (surprise surprise!) Louie (from high school) again at our Chevy's night. As is my luck, I got a certificate from Chevy's THE DAY AFTER for a free entree. Isn't that always how it works? Whatever "it" is? Well, maybe I'll go this weekend in San Diego: the closest Tex-Mex to the border when the border is more or less off-limits!

Oh, oh, oh! I also got the real "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence" (a.k.a. Furyo, which translates to "Prisoner of War") soundtrack, which I think is beautiful, so even though I don't like Utada's sophomore U.S. album (not counting her days as Cubic U, of course), I applaud her for indirectly introducing me to another composer and his music (Ryuichi Sakamoto). I actually like the title track of the movie (which is what Utada sampled from) a lot more than this song... sorry Utada! Although I am curious if the vocal version, "Forbidden Colours" is the same "Forbidden Colours" that is a special bonus on one of Sarah Brightman's Canadian albums. If it is, it'll be interesting to see how she redid it; I didn't like the vocal version too much, but maybe that has to do with the kind of "spacey" quality it had as a song.

Read more... )

I'm really craving a red velvet cupcake for my birthday. I wonder if any bakeries around here have them?


 This One (Crying Like a Child) by Utada from This Is the One (Rating: 0)
azurite: (Default)
The sign for California State University Northridge on Plummer and Darby has mysteriously vanished (the frame is still there, though). I'm starting to worry-- we're not really going to change our name back to San Fernando Valley State College, are we? SFVSC doesn't have quite the same ring to it as "CSUN." Maybe it's a bad frat joke?

Prices have gone up at the Arbor Grill, but only 15 cents for my favorite breakfast burrito (no meat, sour cream instead of salsa). I think it's to make up for the sales tax increase from the other day. I don't mind though. While I was getting my burrito, one of the chefs and I talked shop about future breakfast options: pancakes and French toast! I suggested they try some challah or raisin bread, and he said he'd look into trying it, considering Rye's not suitable for French toast and the wheat didn't taste very good. We also talked about varieties of vanilla, but it occurred to me that even though I like the thicker Tahitian extract, I doubt they sell that in large jugs good for a school! Oh well.

I'm in San Francisco as I type this; the weather is beautiful and I still can't microwave enchiladas without fossilizing at least one corner.

I posted WDKY26 at FFnet, Dragonfayth, and MediaMiner. Dragonfayth was giving me some issues with a fatal mySQL error, but I think I resolved it. Problem is, the site is still spitting out mangled/incorrect update dates, so my fic isn't on the Recently Updated page, nor does the story in My Stories listing show the right updated date. But believe me, it is updated there. I've checked it while logged in under both my admin account and a Test (non-admin) account.

Where else to upload it to? FicWad is apparently broken, I think I need to upload more chapters at AnimeXX before I can upload this one, DeviantART sucks for fics (actually, almost anything fan-made, but that's another story) and it's much easier just to link than post it on LJ (but I will if people want me to; it's not as long as some previous chapters that I had to span across numerous posts, but that's no guarantee that I WOULDN'T have to for this chapter).

(Aside: now that I've seen the music video for this song, I'm never going to think of it the same way again. I think I'll always be grinning and imagining Workout Barbie dancing. Or something like that.)

I don't want to spend my entire Spring Break indoors. I may be broke, but I did get a 7-day MUNI pass, and I intend to use it! (I should have already used it today, but I didn't. Does anyone wanna catch a movie with me later tonight? I think I could manage that....)

Couldn't find my :CueCat. I think either I or Mom got rid of it, unaware of the intrinsic value of a barcode scanner for organizing our lives. So, a birthday wish: a good barcode scanner. Maybe another :CueCat, which I'd have to modify (eep!) to work with Delicious Library 2. Probably not a big deal, but I don't want to waste even $15 if I might screw up. Better to invest in something I don't have to play with?

It's boogie time! *dance dance*

 Call on Me by Eric Prydz from YTMND Soundtrack, Volume 1 (Rating: 0)
azurite: (blue flower)
Interesting things that have happened as of late:
* Sci Fi Channel plans to change its name to SyFy, to supposedly attract a wider audience (because "sci fi" is still recognized as a derivative of "science fiction," which supposedly conjures images of pimply boys playing D&D in their mom's basements. Well, even if they do, those guys run the world now, so hah! Way to generalize! Also, way to stereotype the audience you're supposedly trying to appeal to! ). Fact is, they want [more crappy] non-sci-fi programming. I think they're going to bomb on this front no matter what they try and explain.

SyFy, meet Song Airlines. Now, both of you go back to the class and sit with the cobwebs.

* 4Kids releases uncut unsubbed episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! on their YouTube channel (a day after [livejournal.com profile] littlekuriboh subscribes to them on a lark). Now if only we could get proper subs-- not dubtitles, including for the opening theme song (which should remain unchanged, plzkxthx!). Then put them on DVD and release them in a massive boxed set. Which I would buy in a New York minute.

Tuesday's NSLS Orientation meeting went okay. I goofed a little by not having enough time to finish my agenda before the meeting and print it out, so I was really winging it when the meeting actually got started. The meeting got started a bit late too, because another group was in the room until nearly the last minute. I hardly had any time to set up and figure out how all the equipment worked. I was so nervous, I forgot to do the icebreaker first, and when we finally did do it, I realized it wasn't a great way to sort people into SNT groups-- I had people stopping to talk to one other person on their side of the room (after I asked people to move to one side of the room or the other, based on a choice: e.g. "Chocolate or Vanilla?" where chocolate is the left side of the room and vanilla is the right), but someone pointed out that everyone would talk to at least one person that another person HAD NOT talked to, so everyone would be in everyone else's group! But still, there were enough commonalities for groups to form-- for the most part. The folks that only attended the online orientation or folks that couldn't make the Tuesday one for whatever reason will be assigned by our new SNT Coordinator, June.

Class got out early yesterday, so I came home and relaxed with some CSI:NY repeats until 7pm. I took a nap, fully intending to be awake for the new episode at 10pm, but I didn't wake up on time! I'm surprised Baba and Grandpa didn't come in to wake me up or anything-- I kept right on sleeping until 12:30am! I ended up catching up on the new episode this morning via cbs.com.

Strange people on CBS.com. Also, spoilers for 5x12 )

I saw another dead animal today. This time it was a cat, which... I don't know how to put it, but it hurts. I love cats, and to see one run over just breaks my heart. It also reinforces the fact that I'll never drive and think a good lot of drivers are complete idiots. That said, yes, I do appreciate getting rides home and things like that, but only from people I trust to be attentive when they're on the road.

At least it seems as if whoever hit the cat (or maybe someone found the cat) brought it to the side of the road-- it was on the patch of lawn under a tree, positioned in such a way that the cat could have been napping, dreaming of chasing a mouse, with the way its paws were kind of twisted. But I realized it was dead when I saw its eyes were blackened and its organs had been squished to one end of its body. Other than that, the cat was surprisingly clean-- a bright orange tabby coat, very beautiful. It didn't look like it had been run over, but still... *sigh* I didn't see a collar on it, but that doesn't mean it wasn't someone's pet. Even if it wasn't, I still feel awful. No animal deserves to die because of some idiot driver.

Career Day for the Journalism department is today. I better pack up my things and head over there now.
azurite: (twilight - literary syphilis)
You Are a Carrot Cake Cupcake
You are a complex person. You have many interesting layers to your personality, though others might not know it.
You are drawn to a cross section of people. You friends play different roles in your life.

You are like a cupcake because you are are deceptively simple. There's actually a lot to you!
There are many ingredients in your life, and you only want them in proper amounts. Being you is a delicate art.


More indicators that 'Twilight' sucks and the fans know it )
azurite: (ff8/kh - rinoa)
Greetings from the Oviatt Library of Cal State Northridge (where I was when I first started writing this post)! It's finally the late afternoon, and Inauguration Day is winding down at last. Of course, I was up at 7:30 a.m. for my 9:00 class, so I missed all the inauguration fun, even though Dad called me at 6:30 a.m. to bug me about watching it. He (and several other members of my family) seem to think Inauguration Day ought to be a holiday, but as for me, I've been looking forward to today as the first day of school long before I knew about who was going to be taking the Oath of Office this morning.

In any case, I've managed to catch up with play-by-plays, fashion reports, and transcripts of Obama's speech, so I don't feel as if I've missed out on much. Of course I'm excited and hopeful, but I also know I'll be able to watch it tonight if I so wish. After all, tons of stations are having Encore Presentations of every aspect of the inauguration, so....

As for classes, it was great seeing Prof. Lisagor for my Food Science Lab course again! She even hugged me! :) I was quite glad just to be remembered, but I immediately got into techie mode because some people couldn't log into the shiny cinema-screen Macs (sadly, with Windows pre-loaded on them; the Food Processor program we use for class is Windows-only. Blech!). We spent a lot of time talking about what the class is going to involve, but we moved onto our first big project: a cultural foods meal plan.

We're supposed to think of a culture other than our own and imagine that a person coming from that culture/country has come to the U.S. and has come to us in need of a dietician. Obviously, my first thought was for Japan! So I'm working with a classmate from India named Mythri (My-three), and we've both got to invent a person and come up with a meal plan for them that includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 2-3 snacks for two days. Four of those meals have to be cultural foods (that is, Japanese) that are prepared. Everything should be "made at home," not "fast food" or whatever.

...For some reason, the first person that came to mind was Usagi Tsukino. More specifically, the Usagi that's in a very particular fic that I read recently on Aria's Ink, where she's come to the U.S. on a study abroad program.

Besides, it's not as if I don't know all her vital stats: she's 4'11", 99 lbs., 15 years old (well, we're imagining Season 1-3 Usagi here), and leads an active lifestyle-- what she lacks in P.E. she makes up for with Sailor Senshi duty and running like a mad chicken on her way to school. Inputting all that in, I've discovered just how many calories, vitamins, and minerals she ought to be taking.

Bearing all that in mind, now I've got to come up with 4 simple recipes that are Japanese in origin that Usagi might eat if she's seeing a dietician for whatever reason. I'm tempted to watch a bunch of Sailor Moon episodes to see how food appears in it, and what Usagi's eating habits are (other than just "voracious").

After that class, I went to Yoga. A surprising amount of people were wearing jeans, which made me roll my eyes. Really, the syllabus says "wear comfortable clothing," and people think "jeans?" The teacher seems like she's strict but interesting-- she reminds me of a professor I had in Journalism in my freshman and sophomore year where you either loved her or you hated her, but if you loved her, it's because despite the strictness, you learned. I'm hoping that'll be the case here, too.

Work today was pretty cool, too. I only had a short shift, but half of it I worked at the kiosk upstairs in the library, which we've started doing the first few weeks of the semester to introduce campus technology and the IT department to the people milling about the first floor.

Tomorrow I've only got one class-- my Public Relations class. Normally I'd have my long Biology lab, except the professor's postponed the first class session until next week, which is nice, because it gives me time to get adjusted to my other classes, get my textbooks and other supplies (seriously $114 for a biology NOTEBOOK!?!) and get used to the campus life again. I'm hoping I can use the rare extra time (because normally Wednesday would be my all-day session) to work on WDKY26 more. So far, it's coming along quite well... ^_^

ARGH! - Financial aid check didn't go through YET, so I couldn't get my PSP and SO2:SE as planned today, let alone check out the mall for some **free** makeup. Meh, I didn't need it (the makeup) anyway, and I don't need the PSP and the game RIGHT NOW, either. Textbooks are more the priority, anyway. Surprisingly, the bookstore actually has the cheapest rate for some of the textbooks. Some of the other textbooks, unfortunately, simply can't be found on Half.com or Amazon or whatever-- they're those special notebook lab packs. But that doesn't mean I'm out of resources yet!

Also: new icons! Yay. But I still need more for some of my other fandoms. There are also some I can't bring myself to get rid of even though I rarely use them. But hell, I've got nearly 200 userpic slots, so what does it matter!?
azurite: (sailormoon - just watch me)
Fanfic for [livejournal.com profile] the_circlet's 3-hour challenge. Just BARELY finished on time!
It's Sailor Moon, btw. :}



The Letter )

 Terminatricks by Marco Beltrami from Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (expanded)
azurite: (firefox vs. ie)
Sorry for all the post-spam, but...

(1) Firefox 3.0.5 is being an absolute bitch when it comes to Bookmarks. I don't normally bookmark things to begin with, but for some stupid reason, if I have anything in my clipboard, that URL appears in my bookmark's URL field rather than the page I'm actually trying to bookmark. I went to the MozillaZine forums, and it seems to be a cross-platform problem with the browser, not with the software and a particular extension. Still, we're slated for an update soon, so I hope it updates and fixes this error... though people are saying Mozilla hasn't even registered the existence of this bug, so I don't want to hold my breath.

So while I'm going to stick with Firefox, it's not perfect. But that's also why I love it-- because the people are willing to acknowledge the issues and fix them (soon-ish).

(2) I'm trying to find a semi-decent RSS reader for Firefox. I've been using Mail.app, but it doesn't support cookies, and frankly I'm sick of missing protected entries on my friends' page (there tend to be a lot). I've switched from Sage to Sage-Too to Simple RSS Reader to Wizz RSS. None of them are perfect. They seem to be affected by the same error that the Bookmarks are, because a lot of my feeds (like if I imported them from the Livemarks, or if I was trying to paste the URL into the manual add feed area of the reader) kept getting the wrong URL.

Also annoying but not completely awful: the little icons beside the feeds keep changing depending on what my active tab is.

What I want: something that sits in my sidebar that shows the journal/community name, subject line, and timestamp. I don't NEED extra bells and whistles like indicator dots for the "read" status, but I do NEED it to allow me to either preview it in another pane or open it IN A NEW TAB.

Sage: no longer updated
Sage-Too: see above; also has persistent XML parse errors for no explicable reason
Simple RSS reader: settings pane has no "close" option; doesn't parse subject lines of LJ posts properly, so all that I really see is the username of the journal

Wizz RSS looks cool, but it might be too heavy for my needs. So far it does have the subject lines and journal name thing down pat, as well as organization by time, but I need to have a new tab already open or my current tab will be overwritten once I click on a subject line in the reader. There's no way to preview a post without clicking on it and thus opening up the whole post in a new tab. So what's the point of the preview?

Does anyone have any suggestions? Searching through the Mozilla add-ons collection for "RSS" for 3.0.5 produced an array of results and there's no way to know if any of them are halfway decent. I could judge by reviews, but they seem to be skewed anyway

(3) Also, I do want to update BEA with the Fanart and Fanfics, especially the latter. However, I'm wondering if there should be a new format for the recommended fics with reviews, but I don't know what that format might be. Suggestions?

On the same subject, one of the FFnet C2s I'm in shared a host of Seto x Anzu fics. Excited, I checked them out; turns out they're all by the same author. When the first fic I clicked on displayed clear lack of grammar knowledge/usage (despite the author complaining about that very thing in her profile), I cringed a little, but I made the effort to keep reading. The plots are a bit cliche, but both of them are... vaguely in character.

Some of the stories are more or less PWP, in which case slight amounts of OOC are fairly excusable, except for the underlying feeling I get that SETO WAS A RAPIST. I really didn't like the idea that the author intentionally (because you don't put something in a fanfic "accidentally") had Anzu resisting him and then just falling into bed (or wherever) with him. Part of the reason why I (and countless other Azureshippers) enjoy the pairing is because Anzu doesn't hesitate to tell Kaiba off. She is very vocal and open with her feelings --about him, about her friends, and about how he treats her friends. It's part of the fun of their relationship. Even the author acknowledged this on her profile page.

But she's got Anzu telling Kaiba off for a brief moment, and then he just says something like "I won't take 'no' for an answer" or he does something that gets her to shut up/moan instead/blank out on whatever she was in the middle of saying. And not only is that OOC for Anzu (because I think even in a sexual situation, she wouldn't let ANYONE take advantage of her), but Seto too-- even if you envision him as a sexual being (and you take into account his canon asshole personality as it shows up from time to time), that doesn't mean he would force a woman to have sex.

Rape is about control and violence, NOT about sex. And yet... the author seems to think it's "sexy" to have this implication of rape, as if Anzu's resistance and eventual giving-in is something steamy.

For me, it just makes me shudder.

And it got me thinking: How does one write a good Seto x Anzu fic? Not just steamy/sexy fics, but Seto x Anzu (Azureshipper) fics in general? I'm also going to pose this question at [livejournal.com profile] setoanzulove, but basically I want to compile opinions for a new feature at BEA (while I'm contemplating what to do for the Fic section as a whole).

The temptation was there to
a) leave a review... which I fear might come across as a flame because when you've got something so huge as RAPE in the fic, it's hard to focus on the good aspects. Also, I have issues with "sandwiching" reviews where you say one nice thing, a critique/something you didn't like, and then something nice again. It's not only formulaic, it misses the point of true concrit.

b) MST the fic. Like seriously, lambast it.

c) Include it as a "How NOT to write Seto x Anzu Fic"

But I don't think any of those are appropriate. So I'm just going to stew for now and try and think of some positive things to get out of this whole experience. I'm not going to write every little thing the author's done as godawful; I'm reading some of her other stuff and it's not all or completely bad, but... it's not really good, either.

I had no problem with reviewing things with 3/5 (or lower? I didn't read the old stuff carefully) on BEA before, but for some reason I think doing it for every one of this person's fics would be a bit of an overkill. I do think people WANT to grow and learn, and aside from one end-of-the-fic comment where the trite "If they were a little OOC, it's fanfiction, so I can do what I want!" excuse was, I do think this author is one of them.
azurite: (azureshipping - fantastic)
*singsong voice* Oh [livejournal.com profile] an_ardent_rain....! Your fic is here!

Miss Scrooge
A Yu-Gi-Oh! HOLIDAY Fanfiction
By Azurite

"Prompt: "the joy of giving", Seto x Anzu

Summary: Domino High has modern-day Scrooge in it, but it's not Seto Kaiba.

Oneshot, complete.

...Even if you take out the blather I always put at the beginning and the end of the fic, it's still 10,232 words! WTF!? I think writing short stuff is impossible for me. Budget your time for reading accordingly, I say!

Anyway, it's hosted on FFnet (and will be up on the other places like MMorg, Dragonfayth, and FicWad soon), so please leave a review there if you read the story!

Thanks for this fun challenge, ILB-- I hope you like the story!

 Crossover Interlude by Utada from Exodus (Rating: 0)
azurite: (xmas - hanging pink & green ornaments)
A very belated digital card of the handmade variety )

[livejournal.com profile] an_ardent_rain, keep your eyes peeled-- I'll get that ficlet done (hopefully before midnight) soon!
azurite: (twilight - literary syphilis)
So I was reading [livejournal.com profile] fanthropology when I stumbled across this little gem comparing the "Twilight" series to the "Harry Potter" series. In there is the exact reason why I like HP (and JKR) more than "Twilight" and SMeyer:

Twilight fans can criticize Potter for the plethora of deaths, but I'd rather have sadness that makes you grow and develop and completes a story than to completely stagnate the story so that nothing bad happens to the characters. SM could have given Edward and Bella and even Jacob a happy ending without resorting to the ridiculous.

And also, something that got me thinking about "style," and why certain books or authors with their particular style of writing, are "addictive" in nature, like you can't stop reading/can't put the book down:

Small details, minute details from the first few books became vitally important in the last several.

I like doing that with my own writing. I try and think of my stories as spiderwebs, where I'll drop a detail here, a detail there, and you won't know if it's important or not until later-- maybe not even until the next story. But I wouldn't include it if it WASN'T important, because that's a personal policy of mine. Why include extraneous stuff anyway, when it can just distract or detract from the overarching story?

Problem is, because I tend to write longer stuff, when I try and limit myself to one-shots or fluffy pieces (these days), it's difficult-- I can't make a complex "spiderweb" story with a one-shot! It's probably why I'm having such issues with ILB's fic-- the idea's all there, but when I try and translate the idea into prose, I don't know how to put it.

With WDKY26, it's similar, but not the same: see, I have the idea completely mapped out, I even have plenty of scenes written or at least vividly imagined, but I tend to think of scenes for the WDKY series out-of-order, and when I have to write in one of those scenes where the other scenes (that come before and after the scene in question) are already done, I worry about "Is the style going to be the same?" and "Is it going to read out of place?" It's not so much a matter of the scene not really being important, or me not knowing what details to drop-- often it's a choice between a lot and a little, not all or nothing. So I wonder if I should drop Detail A or Detail B here, or maybe both? How to do it? And then I get to thinking "WHY is Detail A or Detail B so important anyway? Is it worth including here when it won't get explored fully until # chapters later?"

Back to that article, I'm shocked by how many people misspelled "Stephenie Meyer" or various other elements of the "Twilight" series, e.g. "Cullen's" when they're talking about the whole family, and not a particular character's possession of something. I wonder if bad fiction breeds bad spelling?

That said, I think all the people that believe that "Twilight" is a richer/more complex plot than the "Harry Potter" series are living under a rock. Yes, the "Harry Potter" books are long, and there are many more of them than "Twilight" books, but it's the HP books that are still being discussed and examined; it's the HP books that have little details that spring up to great importance later on in the stories.

Not so with "Twilight," where Meyer takes the details she establishes in the first book and throws it away in the second or third or fourth one. And the Volturi are evil, not good, not different. They EAT CROWDS OF TOURISTS. They see themselves as the god-overseers of all vampires! WTF!? People are trying to say Voldemort is a wooden, stereotypical villain character because he kills and likes to kill, but how is that any different from the Volturi? Besides, at least Voldemort had follow-through; the Volturi in "Twilight" were like neutered vampires-- all this build-up of them being so scary and fearsome, but in the end, Bella just stood there and stared them down and THAT WAS IT. The decision to do that rather than having an epic fight only did two things: it made the Volturi look pathetic, and it made Bella even more of a Sue.

It goes on. )

But I'm still questing to find out what my "style" is. I think you can only "learn" to write (well) by reading a lot, and so I am. I'm examining a lot of what I've read and trying to figure out what I liked and why. Fiction, non-fiction, fanfiction... anything goes.

I like JKR's writing because she makes every detail vital. Even heroes aren't perfect and don't try to pass themselves off as such, not even to their mentors, classmates, friends, etc. In the end, you have to know what really matters most: those people you cherish. You only have one life to live, and it's worth living to the fullest because of that.

I'd like to think that in my writing, my heroes and heroines have similar attitudes and personalities in that they come across as human and therefore relatable. Not just "I want to be him/her! OMG!" Even in series with a fantasy-twist, I've always liked exploring the more "human" element: the drama and the angst, the romance and the comedy that come as part of everyday life, the life without the magic.

Life is a great story just waiting to be told, isn't it?

 Cleric Preston by Klaus Badelt from Equilibrium (Rating: 0)

January 2016

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