azurite: (all muses are busy...)
So I never actually said what swag I got at Anime Expo! For me, at least, swag a big part of the con-going experience. Panels can be fun (or totally lousy, depending on scheduling, "technical difficulties" and other stupid things), and screenings can be a blast (or put you to sleep because there's no variety and the lines stink), but I mainly go to cons these days for the following things:
* Friends
* AMVs
* Swag
* Cosplay
in that order. All told, I "got" all of those things at Anime Expo, so you could say I had a good time.

Swagalicious! )

So I'm overall satisfied with what I got, even though the Expo itself wasn't as good this year as last year. That's really a much longer story, but suffice it to say, they were just very disorganized. That makes people irritable and rude, and that makes other people miserable.

To get...eventually )

So if you happen to be selling any of these or know where I can get them cheap, drop me a line!
azurite: (all muses are busy...)
These tend to be fun, even if I should actually be, yanno, writing fic.

Stolen shamelessly from [ profile] rose_of_pollux.

To fic or not to fic: that is the question! )
azurite: (textually active)
Ganked from [ profile] obabscribbler

How about a brief introduction for yourself?

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

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

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

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

From there, it's history.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What would you call your writing “style”?

Long. Except for this answer. :P

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What inspires you?

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

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

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

Tag six friends because they’ll hate you for it.
[ profile] guardian_kysra
[ profile] atlantian_magic
[ profile] bewareofdogz
[ profile] svelterose
[ profile] a_white_rain
[ profile] dqbunny
azurite: (usagi sweater)
So the other day, I mentioned how I was reading Ceres: Celestial Legend, aka Ayashi no Ceres, along with the tail-end of Death Note (oops, turns out I have up to Vol. 11; the last volume, 12, doesn't come out until July), and contemplating love, romance, and relationships in manga.

Guys, girls, and all that stuff )


Nov. 8th, 2006 08:51 pm
azurite: (double trouble minako & usagi)
Over the past few days, I've been getting mysterious emails from HTMLGear's guestbook notification service, saying I have new guestbook notices on a site that I used to have (that has been defunct for years; when you try to search for it via Yahoo! *OR* Google, you won't come up with anything).

I couldn't remember my login for the site (which is affiliated with Tripod and Angelfire, neither of which I ever maintained a site with-- for long), and I was trying every possible combination. Lycos doesn't have a password reminder service, so I was stuck trying every username and password combination I could think of.

AT LAST I got it and I checked the settings... and they pointed to a site that does not exist. I wondered how the messages could be posted without a site (after all, no site means no "Sign my Guestbook" link), so I checked the notices... and of course, they're from bots.

What a waste of time! I liked the GuestGear service when I used it, but since I have my own domain, I guess there's no point anymore. I shouldn't have to put up with their limited capabilities and adverts when I can just create my own Guestbook, or use a customizable script from somewhere. I'd really like to get rid of ALL of my old services, but to trash my old Yahoo! services would mean the end of those emails... and I don't know whether I'm really up to changing EVERY SINGLE place I receive email from to my new email address (even though GMail can handle the flux of messages).

Anyway, I've found out how to delete entire GuestGears (by going into the Gear Manager), and so I'm going through all these old links, just for nostalgia's sake. Some of the old sites that used to be my favs... )

Ah, nostalgia. One Gear down, several more to go. Maybe I ought to just take the high-road and start getting rid of these old things.

Azurite's Favorite Fanfiction... from WAAAAAAY back in the day )

Ranma 1/2, Peach Girl, and then some... )

Okay, done... I only have 4 Gears left, 3 of which are guestbooks which I need to review and finally delete, and the other is a poll on my old Digital Horizons site (remember, [ profile] staplerx?) about Reverse Racism.

Wow, talk about a trip through memory lane. Today was like that in general. For Christine's last EC group, she had clips of old TV shows that we both watched in America; since my group was also in Lavazza cafe, I ended up watching a few-- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, JEM, Animaniacs, Tiny Toons... ah, those were the days.
azurite: (anzu's problems)
Happy Birthday Shigure!

I feel like it's been a while since I updated with anything substantial. I don't even know what counts as "substantial" anymore. You be the judge.

(1) Back in pain. One of the friendly library janitors, George, gave me an Ibuprofen 800 mg, which should have knocked a featherweight like me off my feet, but I'm still in some semblance of pain, and not the least bit delirious. Curious! I hate having sciatica.

(2) Got along with Zack-- the co-worker who would previously-not-be-named. He's been irritating me off and on the past few days, but tonight it was just kind of cool, even if I did want to sock him about 3 times during the course of my time there (4 hours). We talked about cars and Star Trek on the way home. He was the one who offered to drive me in the first place, so I'm happy about that.

(3) RANMA! I randomly decided to edit "Brand New Day" and "Saisei" on, so I'm going to download those to my HD eventually and make sure that when I get the new "amc" (or whatever it might end up getting renamed) that the new versions are on there. I haven't really written Ranma in a while, but I might be tempted to get back into it, just because I love that last volume's plot line. The New Ranma 1/2 Project was a godsend back in the 90s when I was still reading Ranma desperately.

NOTE: I need to come up with a new name for my archive of all-fanfics-and-stuff-besides-SxA-because-that's-hosted-at-Dragonfayth. This means everything: Sailormoon, Full Metal Panic, Ranma, Inuyasha, Wild Act, Peach Girl, other Yu-Gi-Oh stuff that isn't SxA, and likely Star Ocean, Final Fantasy, etc. as well, because Blacklight Arcade existing as a separate site seems pointless to me.

So I need a name. Help?

I'll get started on "Saving Akane" edits next, but I don't know when I'll actually update the stories themselves. In the meantime, I've been reading this pretty good fic by Neon-Ronin, called "The Truth and the Tempest." It uses some "ooh! big words" at first, and has the occasional spelling error, but generally it's got a very good plot, with one OC so far who surprisingly IS NOT a Gary-Stu! I'm very impressed-- and here I thought the Ranma fandom might be near-to-dying! Better yet, the fic has 35 or so chapters, each of them of a decent length, so I've actually got a good read ahead of me.

Now the question is, whatever happened to Krista Perry and "Hearts of Ice"? Now that was a damn good story.

(4) I went to the doctor's today at around 2pm, and it was an extremely quick appointment. I had to get a PDC or something-- a test for tuberculosis. I have to check back on Tuesday (I should on Monday, except I have classes almost back to back, and I'll likely have my interview for Tokiwa on that same day). I turned in the health certificate today, even though I didn't have the chest x-ray section completed, but Kaiser won't due a chest x-ray unless the shot test comes out positive. -_-; Stupid Tokiwa.

(5) The Shonen Jump Sub Club is pissing me off. I didn't pay $29.95 for the login screen to tell me my name and password are incorrect, and then let me login on the OTHER page that you can only get when you get an error from the OTHER login screen. On top of that, they never update the site for the newest issue when it ships out to subscribers (like they should), so even for all the extras us subbers supposedly get, we don't see them until the site updates for the people that buy it off the newsstand (in 2 weeks). Same goes for non-sub stuff too, like contests and surveys. How irritating!

MEME ALERT: (stolen from [ profile] a_white_rain)
If you make up titles for stories I didn't write, I will respond with details of those non-written stories. You can include specifics like fandom or pairing. (of course, it would be wise to suggest fandoms and characters that I actually KNOW...)

I can't think of anything else. :P
azurite: (fandom destroyed my social skills)
Sometimes constructive criticism isn't. You know, when people go overboard, and aren't just "constructive" to the point where they're helping you out, they're berating you for the littlest thing. Now, I consider myself a writer-- I'm not a fantastic one, and I know I don't have any kind of established fanbase (#$%&, look at my notes-- the last one is from December 01!) . But I'd like to think that I can make people think, or feel a certain way when they read what I write. Of course, they choose what they feel and what they think-- I just give them a starting point.

For writers, there's only two words that can open up an entirely new world to them-- "what if...?" The problem is, when someone writes about an established fanbase (such as an anime or manga) then someone who interprets a character differently will not like the way you've portrayed said character.

And now on to the title of this entry-- I recently posted a relatively old, incomplete story on, just to get some reader's reaction. I should give you a basic outline-- I like this anime known as Ranma 1/2. It would take forever for me to get into all the details, but generally speaking, it's a slapstick comedy with several love polygons thrown in between. Typical Japanese anime with a twist every here and there.

So this person named Jhoannes or something said that I was a selfish bitch! That I portrayed Akane (the lead female character) as a coward, and that she was far too forgiving for someone who betrayed her (read: Ryoga). I honestly believe that if you don't like someone's writing, then shut the hell up, and walk away.
Now I guess I'm being harsh, but still-- what's the old adage? If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all. I think this rings true for someone's work-- constructive criticism is one thing; outright name-calling as Jhoannes or whatever his name is is totally another. I'm ranting here only because I will not sink to his level-- his review was anonymous anyway, and sadly, was the first review for the fic, and the first review that has upset me so much that I deleted it.

*sigh* Forget it...

January 2016

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