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: (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: (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?

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: 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.

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.
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: (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: (azureshipping - side by side)


You Look Like an Aries



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

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



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

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



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

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



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

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

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

Since I do have a biology quiz tomorrow morning, I really ought to get studying for that, but at some point "tonight" (that is, this morning), I'm going to play me some SNES games and go to bed with a SMILE on my face (dagnabbit)!
azurite: (azureshipping - love to hate)
So, I haven't updated in what seems like ages (that HSM post doesn't count, because I'd written that more than a week ago and just saved it, hoping for a time when I COULD post it) because The Powers That Be were conspiring against me or something, and Murphy's law was in full effect-- all that jazz. So I decided to start doing something about it.

Keyboard Mayhem! )

Michael Moore is hard to find )

A little lost memory card and some movies )

Noconnectlink )

An HTC Dream G1 deferred )

MELTING, MELTING! and other problems )

Fics that like to f*ck with your brain )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THAT ONE.

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

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

And of course, school work. Can't neglect that. Have classes to register for in... 23 days, too. Geh. So many deadlines, so little time.
azurite: (azureshipping - reflection)
Posting WDKY over at AnimeXX (a German-based fanart and fanfic site, which I'm likely going to migrate to "completely" once I sort the DeviantART mess out) and just a teeny bit of stimulus has gotten me thinking about the series again.

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

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

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

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

I got two words: OY and VEY.

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

*sigh* If only I lived on DS9 and had more hours in my day.
azurite: (blue flower)
Another day and I'm here to tell the tale. Well, not a "tale," but at least I'd be here to tell it if there were one. At least I managed to get some sleep last night. The day before that, when I took that sleeping pill (at 7am), I ended up sleeping nearly 12 hours. That was only HALF a sleeping pill, mind you-- actually, there was more painkiller in the pill than there was sleeping aid! But when I took the other half last night, I slept and woke up within a decent amount of hours.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reviews! )
azurite: (blue flower)


Your Gemstone Says...



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

People turn to you first for leadership and advice.

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

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



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

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

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

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

By the way, the sole reason why I'm even up right now is "practice" for Saturday and Sunday, when I have training shifts from 4:00 and 3:30pm (respectively) until MIDNIGHT. I need to figure out how to stay bright-eyed and bushy-tailed till at least 1am if this ends up being something on a regular basis (which I doubt, what with the whole PARK CLOSING AT 8PM!)
azurite: Part of the "What Doesn't Kill You" series of fanfic icons (wdky7)
Excerpts from two reviews I received for WDKY recently (the same person, different chapter reviews):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Omoshiroi

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

Click here to see! )


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

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

That said, I'm thinking a beta/brainstorming session is in order. Anyone with some free time on their hands? (I don't know about you, but I have a three day weekend. I might be going to Fresno for my cousin Shaina's wedding shower, but I still plan on writing every spare moment I can. I have a LOT of writing to do, and WDKY acts as both practice and escapism from that.)

Fucknuts

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

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

ARGH!

Oh wait, it gets better. I wrote to Support. AND THEY WROTE BACK! )
azurite: (roses are red)
H'okay. Sho.

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

Read more... )

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

And now, for some random lists:
Like

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Figuring something out moments after you resigned yourself to having done the best job you could do and "to hell with it." I did that with my first homework assignment for RTM 330, my first online class. I missed the whole "APA requirements" for assignments (or is it only papers?). Oops! I wonder if the professor will cut some slack for the first assignment? Then again, she seemed to have mentioned somewhere that the discussion questions aren't even graded, but I can't find out what really is graded, besides projects (like a genealogy paper). It's harder than I thought, keeping up with WebCT... maybe I ought to set it as a homepage this semester?
azurite: (sailormoon - manga venus fade)
Ah, I love reviews. Even the "ow, you could have phrased that a bit differently" criticizing (and not always "constructive") reviews. It's nice to know people still know/care about WDKY, and it's always the review flow that keeps me writing. Thankfully, there's not much about WDKY26 that's a mystery to me; as per the usual, it's just a matter of translating my planner file into prose.

I shoulda-coulda-woulda been working on it practically this entire afternoon, after I got back from covering another honor society's induction ceremony for the Sundial, but I ended up playing Star Ocean 3 for hours. Literally, HOURS. I took the clock out of the rec room, so I had no idea what time it was until I briefly noticed Baba and Grandpa had gone to bed and it was eerily quiet-- and then the sprinklers outside started. I looked at my watch on the table and I had an "ohshit!" moment. It was 12:37 when I looked at my watch. O_O yeah, color me in shock.

Truth is, I don't like SO3 all that much, at least compared to SO2. Sure, plenty of things make "more sense," like having the Craftsmen's Guild instead of Skill Guilds, and Workshops rather than you being able to create anything anywhere. But so far I have yet to produce a single good thing-- the only things I've patented are rare items I've found, like the cider and the anti-poison amulet. And I've already shelled out tons of Fol to improve upon Paterny's Workshop, add Lines, and try and make things from scratch! Urgh, what a pain. I know about individual Talents; in my game (not sure if it randomizes), Nel's a good cook, Fayt's a great engineer and writer, and Cliff's a decent smithy and engineer. But despite not having patented anything in her name, Nel's still the top-ranked Inventor. Go figure.

Anyway, that system bugs me... so does the map system, mainly because it makes my eyes hurt and it's practically impossible to get 100% of a map even in two walkthroughs of an area (the first time you walk through and then the return trip, because it seems every journey is Point A to Point B and then back again). It's interesting to be able to either choose your enemies or dodge them... but then IN battle, the Killer Move system got replaced by this weird Short-Range/Long-Range thing along with Strong vs. Weak attacks. Apparently X is Weak attacks and O is Strong Attacks. And I DETEST the Fury concept, along with the idea of MP-Death. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that every RPG's battle system should involve copious amounts of button-mashing, but supposedly easy battles in SO3 take me at least 5 minutes EACH because of all the running around, recharging of the Fury gauge and using of Blackberries and Blueberries. Players don't recharge very much (if at all) at the end of a battle for either HP or MP, and to make it even WORSE, Save Points don't recharge you! Only staying at an Inn or finding a Recovery point will, and you know how uncommon that is!?

Still, hours. And I guess despite the fact that it's frustrating and slow, part of me does want to see Fayt meet Sophia again. :}

Lastly but not leastly, I'm not going to keep it a secret until it's live, because I want to generate BUZZ:
I've just been approved for the TAFL-listed (sounds a bit redundant) fanlisting for Sailor V/Aino Minako x Kaitou Ace! Nothing quite beats the original angsty Sailor pairing. I'm going to be getting some manga fanart and putting together this FL shortly... and when I do, please spread the word and join! (I was honestly surprised this FL didn't exist before.)

WAHOO!

Nov. 3rd, 2007 01:41 am
azurite: Part of the "What Doesn't Kill You" series of fanfic icons (wdky7)
What Doesn't Kill You: Chapter 25 (Summer Heat) is now posted/live/up/done. HUZZAH! HIP HIP HURRAH! HOORAY! And squee!

FYI, it's up at:
Dragonfayth
Fanfiction.Net
and
MediaMiner.org.

I'm not going to post it up here on LJ because it will inevitably get cut off due to the character limit (probably, anyway), and it's just easier for me to link to it. I will, however, be doing my requisite "spamming" of all the Seto x Anzu and Yu-Gi-Oh fanfic communities making the thrilling announcement.

Thanks to all the betas and other people across LJ and the wide, wide Intarwebz for helping me with this monster... ONLY 10 MORE CHAPTERS TO GO! (Ha! Ha! Ha!)

I should probably start writing now. It'll be my NaNoWriMo project for November.
azurite: (azureshipping - caught)
[livejournal.com profile] lin_ko and [livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra, I'm thinking of creating some new holiday skins for Dragonfayth, and I'm wondering if I could use your fanart for some of the imagery (e.g. the header banner). Let me know if you're okay with this, or if you want to know more, etc.

Anyone else interested in contributing fanart or manips for Dragonfayth, I have a BUNCH of holidays that need translation into graphical form. Of course, there's no written rule that they have to have Seto x Anzu or even Yu-Gi-Oh characters in them, but I'd especially love it if they could. So what follows is a list of the holidays I'm thinking of doing... Any holiday is an excuse for presents! )

Speaking of Samhain/All Hallow's Eve, I'm going as a witch (again). And yes, I'm well-aware of the irony. I wanted to go as Snow White, but I just didn't have time to get to a costume shop in time. 'Sides, I'm about broke, anyway, so I might as well make use of what I have. So I'll be wearing an all-black skirt and top combo with my purple-spiderweb witch hat and some garish makeup (that is, purple lip gloss and super-heavy eyeliner). Chances are I'll have to take my hat off in class, but other than that... <|:D

I wish I could go to a Halloween party, though... :P

Though I spent today at home (gotta love my stomach-- it likes to stage mutinies), there is ONE good thing about it all-- I'm like... 99.9% done with WDKY25. No, seriously. I'm just unhappy with some "tell instead of show" in the end scene, but I think I can fix that. I'm breaking out the writing kits and other tools I have, perhaps in time for NaNoWriMo. Actually, I've never successfully participated in NaNoWriMo, and I'm not sure if this month will be any different, what with all the various projects I have on my plate. But if I can finish more of WDKY in November, that'll be enough to keep me satisfied.

I wonder if tomorrow will signal finally seeing my vanishing-act boyfriend (rdrr) again. This top-sekrit video game project of his means I haven't seen him online, heard from him via phone, let alone seen him in person. It's been something like 7 weeks... o_o Baba thinks I ought to forget about him.

Speaking of the B&G, Grandpa tripped on his walk with Mokie (that would be the mini poodle we have, in case you didn't know) and got his face all scraped up-- he's okay now, but earlier he looked a bit like the mummy with his face bandaged up in so many places. He'll have more bruises than ever (and he's already got a lot because he takes blood thinners), but at least he's okay and in decent spirits. But when I came out of the house earlier when Baba called me (he'd been lying in the street and a driver walked him back to the house. If Mokie hadn't sat in the street right next to Grandpa, the driver might not have noticed Grandpa. So for once, I actually appreciate the fuzzbutt), I was pretty freaked out-- he was pretty bloody (but laughing about it!). I guess I'm just glad it wasn't worse. Though my dad knows about it and he didn't go off on a tirade about getting them into a home or getting a personal nurse, it does have me worried about all the What Ifs: what if I hadn't been there, what if Baba wasn't outside to see him, etc.? I'm here to take care of them, but there's only so much I can do, and I rely on them, too! /.\

Ugh, it's a constant to-do list with me! Every time I think of one thing I have to do, another five spring up. Just typing them here might get me more stressed out, and though I spent most of today in bed (because moving HURT), I do have to get to sleep... I figure putting on all that makeup will take a while, so I might as well get enough sleep to wake up early and get all gussied up. :P

Hup hup!

Oct. 14th, 2007 09:35 pm
azurite: (csi: sara survivor)
Let's see, five or so minutes until clean-up time (or at least until Jamie is supposed to get here to help me clean up) for the NSCS Garage Sale, and we've made about $85 over the course of two days. Not too bad. The leftovers I suppose we'll give to the Goodwill, though some stuff (namely some sports cards and some manga) I think I can sell online for a decent amount. Hopefully.

Joyce also said she'll buy all the stuffed animals; she works in family law, and when kids get adopted out, they get to pick a stuffed animal, but she says "they're" (I don't know who "they" are) always running out (of stuffed animals to give away). Right now, we have about 10 left, so hopefully Joyce will be willing to fork over $20 or so for the lot, including a brand-new, super-soft dog-pillow thing.

It hasn't been bad, sitting out here pretty much all day. As per usual for me, I've been reading a lot of CSI fic (I think I've read almost everything by Mossley, at this point), chatting with Joe and Jamie when they were here (Jamie is helping me clean up before we meet Joe and the others at Starbucks for an NSLS meeting), and checking my email.

I'm applying to another internship that might meet the Journalism department's standards for credit (for a journalism internship)-- the Washington Internship Institute. Okay, it's not free, but housing is actually part of the package and I *hope* that it's a paid internship. Anyway, Prof. Shapiro (last semester's JOUR 331 - Graphics professor) agreed to write the required faculty recommendation form for me, so yay to that. :) I think it's bull that I should have to pay all these fees and deposits for things I supposedly qualify for because I'm so active in volunteering, have such a good GPA, etc. -_- Whatever happened to REWARDING the smart kids? I feel like all the good opportunities are just beyond my reach, all because of cash. Well, there's loans, fundraising, and scholarships, and I'm sure as hell not a quitter, so I'll have to look into a variety of things.

Personally, I'd like it if the Target internship could still work out somehow for Journalism credit, because not only is it local and sound fun (but also challenging), but it pays well. Plus there's a strong chance of being hired full-time after the fact, which is nothing to scoff at. Even Target needs a media/press relations department, and while I'm no PR concentration, you never know the needs of a corporation like that.

I have decided I'm going to drop Japanese as a minor, though. On the one hand, it's sad, because I've always been so dedicated to the study of Japanese language and culture, and I enjoyed it a lot when I was younger. When I got into college and DID declare it as my secondary minor, I thought of it as the thing that would set me apart from all the other Journalism majors with their required collateral fields or minors. But the classes are terribly timed, stressful... and to be honest, just thinking about it makes my chest hurt. I can't handle the professors, the workload... anything. I get this sickening guilty feeling whenever I read the [livejournal.com profile] japanese community, too. I know that I said just a few paragraphs above, I'm not a quitter-- and I'm not NOW. But I was, because Japanese stressed me out that much.

Even though I look back on going to Japan as a great experience, one I learned a lot from, to be honest, I can't see myself living there anymore, like I used to. I don't think I could work at Shonen Jump or Shojo Beat as a translator; an editor, maybe (and they do need one...). And when I really look back on it, I remember the fun times with my friends, but I also remember how cold and lonely I was. I remember crying the first few days I got there, because I felt like the stupidest person there, not remembering certain things. That was especially true when I finally went to Tokyo on my own and I didn't understand what the clerk was telling me when she said Sarah Brightman had already left the store. I must have waited there for an hour, all because I forgot what the word "sakki" meant.

I don't want to feel that way again. I'd like to think that I learned from my experiences --both in class and in Japan-- and now I have a better grasp on my limitations. I know a bit more about just what defines my breaking point: at which point I get so stressed I make myself ill. I have to say, I really have been getting pretty sick over the past half-year, and if it's really all psychosomatic, I'm disappointed in myself. I'm not exactly the paragon of healthy eating and regular exercise, but it's not like I pork out in front of the TV all day with a bag of chips and guac. But stressing out does things to your insides, and I was getting pretty close to either being a hypochondriac or being genuinely ill with something like an ulcer. Scott had that, and just judging by what I heard from him, I don't want to go down that route.

I have yet to really un-declare the minor, and I'm not 100% sure of the consequences- after all, I got that Presidential Scholarship which I really never did anything with, though it saved my hide in Japan after that idiotic phone escapade. Part of me still thinks I'm more than capable of writing that book, but it's not like I ever had this great relationship with my supposed mentor, Hirota-sensei, and I hardly think I would after I un-declare the minor. That's especially true if I have to get her signature on any forms and explain just why I feel the way I do. I don't like getting emotional around professors.

Anyway, other stuff:
What's your preferred domain registrar? I've been with Register.com, and while they were good, they were too expensive. Same goes with InterNIC. I'm with Yahoo! Small Business for meredithsweet.com, and GoDaddy for seventh-star.net, but today at the NSLS officers' meeting, Jamie told me that GoDaddy sucks and he won't have anything to do with them, directly or indirectly. I've had a great experience with them so far, despite their supposed lousy TOS and policies. Nonetheless, if I wanted to get a CSUN NSLS website that's not hosted by CSUN (because apparently that requires funding which we currently do not have), I need to find a good registrar. Suggestions are appreciated!

WDKY25 is like, seriously, almost done. Whee! I actually was working on it last night-- a storm of writing! Please let it continue...!
azurite: (csi: gsr wall)
WOW. So as if getting to hang out on the set of CSI wasn't cool enough (all right, it would have been cooler if I got to talk with Jorja Fox and George Eads, or see William Petersen), the day before yesterday I got a very nice, vaguely familiar envelope in the mail...

I got invited to the Delegation on Communication in Journalism in AUSTRALIA! AGAIN! This is the second year I've been invited, but because last year I was in Japan, I missed the deadline for turning the application in. The fact that I got invited again despite the drama that happened last semester means I'm still gold to somebody out there, and I don't want to pass this opportunity up.

Of course, there's always a catch. Just like the coolest media internship programs, this delegation costs money. It covers airfare, travel insurance, accommodations, food, and, if I want, an extra few days touring around the most exotic parts of Australia. HOW COOL IS THAT!? *squeeballs*

Anyway, it's $6789 total, which is... a lot, of course. The first deposit of $649 has to be made before December 17th, which is not a bad thing-- I mean, I could easily put that amount on my credit card and pay it back in 2-3 chunks over the next few months. But then in January, $2000 would be due, with the remainder due in February. That's the money I'm not so sure about, because my highest credit limit is on my Macy*s Visa (which I never intend to use outside of Macy*s *AS* a Visa), and I don't see any way of my job (or even my Spring Semester financial aid check, really) covering that.

But there's no way I'm just going to give up hope now. I have to look into things-- scholarships, other financial aid. My dad would probably tell me to ask the Journalism department here at CSUN to fund it so I could write some sort of story, but I doubt that they'd do that. I always doubt that sort of generosity from this department... -_- (Then again, this department seems pretty broke half the time, so...) Anyone have any ideas? It's power fundraising time-- not just for DonorsChoose and AIDS Walk, but Mer, too! :O!!!

(Did I also mention I got invited into another honor society, the Golden Key? DAMN. I feel... smart, like there's another me out there faking everyone out, and I'm basking in this. I don't feel like I deserve it, but on the flip side, I'm really excited, happy, and proud.)

Also:
* WDKY IS FOUR YEARS OLD AS OF YESTERDAY (10/9). Someone hit me upside the head with an inspiration-motivation-mallet, please. the last time I let a fanfiction fester for this long was Only 16, and that... didn't turn out so well. It wasn't even as long as WDKY!
* Updated my online portfolio/resume with my latest articles. Also added them to Facebook, including the CSI article. Headline sucks, but I didn't make it up. Read the article if you like, though, and tell me what you think!
* Damn, I feel busy all the time. I'm glad the weekend's coming up, though-- I mean, I'll be busy anyway, with the NSCS garage sale (and the weekend after that, the AIDS Walk-- squee, already raised $275!), but maybe I'll use the sale as a chance to clean my room or something. And maybe get some computer stuff done, too.

...I wanna read more CSI fic. I've read 2 60+ chapter fics (yesterday's was 81 and COUNTING) in the past week or so, and... I'm hooked! More GSR plz!
azurite: (xxxholic - yuuko)
Hi all! First, some "me" updates, then onto the main course:
* WDKY25 idea! Oh, I love lightning bolts. With dumb luck, it'll be done -no, really, DONE!- by the end of this week. I pray.

* I finished my end of the project for my Vitamin K presentation in Nutrition for Life class tomorrow. I'm so thrilled I finally figured out (with the help of a Mac Rep-- surprisingly, not a Creative or Genius, because they were all stumped!) why there was sound on the slides that were build-less. I had the idea that the media icon might be hidden off-canvas, and once the Mac Rep told me how to resize the window so the canvas only took up a percentage, I found the sign! I also ended up having to fix lots of hyperlinks, but in the end, I tested everything out, and it looks great! Aside from the necessity of having to click the actual squares on the Categories Selection board (rather than have it select automatically), everything's great, and I hope we do well tomorrow!

Now, main course:
As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm participating in the SixApart/DonorsChoose.org Bloggers Challenge. I've chosen eight teacher proposals for San Francisco schools that I hope to fund, even a little. SixApart gave out $30 certificates for DonorsChoose.org to people who requested them, and I already gave mine to one of my eight proposals: Books That Add Spice.

Check out my complete challenge here, and donate even $1-- it WILL make a difference in a child's life!

And now, for some questions and my answers...
Why San Francisco?
It's where I grew up. My mom was a great participant in my school years growing up, and if it wasn't for her, I think a lot of the school projects that I remember the most wouldn't have been as fun, or may have fallen through altogether. My school was lucky enough to have a few parents who were really dedicated to participating in classes and helping teachers-- moreso than the school or the school district ever did.

While I can't speak for the kids or the school district now, from what I've seen when I've visited recently, things haven't changed much. If I can help a single elementary school kid get a new pack of crayons, or a classroom of high schoolers see a computer presentation via a new projector, then I'll do whatever I can.

Why did you pick the proposals you did?
It's funny, but once you start looking for proposals to help fund, there are so many that will catch your attention. That's what happened with me, and though I think eight is a bit of a crazy number (and I intentionally set my Fundraising Goal to $2000, which does NOT cover the complete costs of every proposal), I think there's a great variety of schools, teachers, students, and proposals in my challenge. If I can meet my Fundraising Goal of $2000, then that'll most likely get all of these proposals enough funding to get noticed, and at the very least, up off the ground.

The proposals I chose are as follows:
1. Let Your Fingers Do The Writing
2. Books That Add Spice
3. The Art Area is in Trouble!
4. Making 5th Grade More Fun & Interesting
5. Bring my Classroom into the 21st Century!
6. Rainbow World: Help Kindergartners Explore Colors
7. Think Before You Drink: Prom Gift Bags
8. Slide into the 21st Century

Why these proposals? )

Please take a minute of your time to read some of these proposal descriptions and, if possible, donate something. Whether it's $1 or $10, $20 or $30, every little bit helps! Do you remember what it was like to be in elementary, middle, or high school? Did you never want for anything? (If you say "yes," I won't believe you. :P)

DonorsChoose gathers teachers from all over the U.S., allowing THEM to say just what they need, how many students will be impacted, and what their proposed purchases will be used for. These eight proposals really stood out to me, and I hope that you can find it in your heart (and in your wallet!) to make a small tax-deductible contribution to help fund them-- even a little. It won't just make a difference for you and me, but all those students and their teachers-- for years to come.



I've emailed a note about this to my friends. If you read that email, read this post for more info, and be sure to tell your friends!
azurite: (autumn kitty)
Ugh, I'm back to drinking Brisk iced tea, and now Wild Cherry Pepsi (haven't had THAT since high school) to keep myself awake T-Th when I have classes that last 2-3 hours at a time with short breaks. It sucks because I thought I'd been getting enough sleep and eating somewhat healthier, to the point where I wouldn't need boosts that also rot my teeth. Urgh.

I don't want to get crazy-stressed, but the past few days haven't helped-- there's always so much to do. I've got to finish raking off the garage roof, clean my bathtub, clean my room, put my laundry away, do my handwashing, figure out a system for a clothesline in my tile tub, send my glasses prescription to school, get new glasses, see if I can vacuum the house (I bet Dad forgot to take the giant vacuum Baba wanted him to have, and waited months to give him) and... figure out wtf is wrong with the wireless on my NEW LAPTOP!

Last night as soon as I came home I set it up and transferred all the data from my old MBP, but while the old one connected to the home network just fine, the new one wouldn't. I tried changing the router settings-- the SSID and the password encryption, but that just screwed things up further. This morning I called AT&T tech support (gawd, I want to switch to Time-Warner Cable), and I had to change the SSID back, the encryption back to WEP-Open, and the channel back from 11 to 10. That fixed it for my old MBP, but not the new one... and I have no idea why. It's not like there are any proxies, AppleTalk, or other weird settings... I hope it's not the AirPort being half-malfunctional or anything. I've got an appt. at the Apple store today, and if all works out well, I'll also renew my ProCare and get Diner Dash. :) What's weird is that it works here on campus, and it SORT of picked up someone else's network near home for a bit, but not for long enough (to get the updates for the AirPort Express). I wonder if the updates (which I managed to get here at school) will help?

On the bright side, the new computer DOES mean I'll be able to play with my .Mac sooner, check out all the goodies iLife '08 offers, and see what's new with iWork '08. I'll also hopefully be able to work on WDKY and the BSSM Another Story novelization. But, speaking of other writing projects, all the weird dreams I've been having lately (a lot of apocalyptic stuff, for some reason) got me revising "Prophecy Girl," and the extended ideas (which will involve revising the first two chapters a bit) make the story a LOT more solid. I might end up switching between it and WDKY (since PG was around first, anyway) in times of blockage.

During all the stress last night, I played some FFX-2 while the data was being transferred. I forgot why I was where I was (I'd already beaten the Ruin Depths), so I headed around to get more Oversouls (I have about 20 left, including the dreaded Concherer). I only managed to get 1 so far, due to the randomness of battles, so later I hope to get more... :P it's my way of de-stressing. I'm planning on figuring out more Mix strategies to beat the tougher Oversouls, though.

Right now I'm in my JOUR 410 (Investigative Journalism) class, and I need to come up with 3 story ideas for our upcoming proposal. As with so many other things, I'm dry out of ideas. Help?

Oh, as for the BEST NEWS OF THE DAY (even though I'll be busy until late and busy even tomorrow and this weekend with an NSCS retreat in Malibu where I'm responsible for figuring out dinner for 10 for only $40?)...
I GOT A RAISE! Nearly 30 cents, too! Not a ton, but way better than my last raise. :)
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna's memory)
So my new computer probably won't ship until the 30th at the earliest, and if they DO ship it that day, that's the day they charge my card. Coincidentally (har har!) it's the day my bill for my credit card is due, and I can't buy anything more until said payment is... paid. So basically I'm broke-ish until the laptop is paid for and I can get my rebate, which sucks.

I also restarted work on the "Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Another Story" novelization project. I'm glad I managed to catch up to where I was (a little more than midway through Mercury's portion of Chapter 2 - In Search of the Stones) in less than two days, but running Dreamweaver at the same time as SNES9x is a pain, and it's hard to type and pause with my memory so low. So while I do plan on restarting/finishing that soon(ish), I'll wait until I get the new laptop, since that should make juggling the two programs easier.

Tomorrow I have my first day of JOUR 397B, aka the Daily Sundial, even though I've already been to the orientation and have been turning articles in. We're not meeting in the Sundial room afaik, so I'm not really sure what to expect.

After class, I'm supposed to go to a follow-up appointment with the oral surgeon back in Van Nuys, but a lot's happened in the past two weeks-- namely, Grandpa's gotten a LOT more forgetful and more spaced out. Of course I'm worried about him-- I don't really know what caused it or brought it on, and the family's got a lot of theories, ranging from overdosing on some medication to having a stroke and us just not knowing about it (is that really possible?). Either way, it's a bit sad to see him seem so listless and uninvolved in anything the way he used to be-- always reading his papers, checking his stocks, and watching his financial and political news programs. Now he just sort of sits there and channel surfs, and sometimes he doesn't even pay attention (Baba said he watched "Hannah Montana" for an hour today, which SCARES me).

SoI might not go to the oral surgeon tomorrow if Baba's taking Grandpa to the doctor's, but I think I feel fine-- I haven't had any residual soreness, tightness of the jaw, bleeding, or noticeable signs of infection. I still don't want to get slammed with a cancellation fee if I don't go, and even if I do go, again, there's the whole payment thing... urgh, can't wait until my next paycheck. I think with all the hours I've been pulling lately it'll be a bit better than my last one, but I hate how I only get paid once a month.

I am worried about Grandpa, of course... I mean, part of the reason why I'm here is to try and take care of them, though as I've mentioned in the past, I never want to baby them. Neither of them are "rest home" type of people, so Grandpa being "incapacitated" like he is seems hard enough on all of us. I don't like facing the very real possibility that his time is coming... but I should, just because this isn't like with Michelle (an accident, out of nowhere, unpredictable. Grandpa's old; he's led a great and full life and been a wonderful inspiration, help, and part of my life. He's been my ONLY Grandpa, because my mom's father died before I really got to know him (I was only a baby, I think). It sucks feeling like I'll have the responsibility of doing so much more for Baba if Grandpa does pass-- moreso than I did or even COULD have done for Mom back when Michelle died. But I do have to be there for her --for Grandpa as well, for as long as he is here-- because I guess part of me is still adamantly hanging onto what little "youth" I feel like I have left. I lost a big chunk of it when Michelle died, because I was 10 and suddenly had to act like an adult back then. Now I'm 22, and I have to act it and beyond, because it's not just Mom this time, it's Baba and all the kids (my aunts and uncles).

I want to think positive though, if just to provide a contrast to Baba's pessimism. I am scared though --and I hate to think it, but selfish. What'll happen to me if Grandpa DOES pass before I graduate? Can I help out with all the bill payments? Will I need to? Grandpa's not working anymore; I don't know where they get money from, or where it all goes to.

Dad is still coming up next weekend for Labor Day, and Shawn (who was supposed to come over today, but I think I gave him my post-surgery cold) and I will be going to Jill's on the 1st for a BBQ/Pool Party. I'm hoping Shawn makes a good impression on both sides of the family, either way. :P I mean, not like it's THAT serious or anything, but it's always nice to get that out of the way first. This isn't some "Meet the Fockers" redux or anything, you know?

Speaking of Dad, he's adamant that when Shawn gets better, he and I go to a bike shop to take the bike that's been sitting in the garage rafters to get totally overhauled. I've thought about it a lot, since bicycling is great exercise, and both my parents can shockingly AGREE on its benefits. I don't have the first clue how to ride though, so the first step would really be getting this bike shaped for ME. And maybe painted purple! :D Dad even says he'll pay for it, which rocks.

Hopefully things will stay... "good-ish" for the next few weeks at the least; Baba and Grandpa are supposed to go to Seattle for Rosh Hashanah, and Shawn should be staying over that week. It'll also be a Mokie-free week (huzzah!) because Baba wants to leave the poodle over at Debbie's, the groomer's we've been taking the fuzzball to. That'll be nice-- not to have to deal with Mokie's yapping and such. That's one reason why I like cats more-- even if they meow, they don't meow so loudly that it attracts attention from outside, or scares postmen.

What else? I woke up today remembering some of the 42 prompts I'd partially done, and how a) I never finished them and b) they were mysteriously not in my Memories. So I found and added them, and maybe when I finish WDKY25 (I surprised myself by seeing how long I've been complaining about that chapter since I finished with WDKY24 last year) I'll work on a few more of those "blurbs." I don't know if/when/where I'll post them, though.

For my next two Sundial articles, I have to contact the Westfield Topanga mall (did it by email, since I didn't find another contact person/PR number to call) and some astronomy teachers at CSUN... unfortunately, the Physics and Astronomy Dept. page at CSUN doesn't organize the professors by their subject, so I might just need to call the department office and find names of professors (preferably full-time; the prof. I had and emailed -who hasn't gotten back to me yet- is part-time) who are in astronomy and might have some insight on the upcoming meteor shower. BTW, every time I type that, I want to say "VENUS METEOR SHOWER!!!!!" I think it sounds a lot cooler than "Crescent Beam shower!" I mean, why would crescent beams shower? Or shower down, as it were? (I remember getting a Sailor Moon Collectible Card from Toys 'R' Us ages ago, and it had a "new" attack for Sailor Venus and Sailor Jupiter on there. Back in the day, before the rest of the series got dubbed/subbed, those kind of things got me downright GIDDY. It was like NEWS in the Sailor Moon universe!)

*sigh* I've been taking a lot of naps today, and I feel like I've hardly been productive, even if I did get work done on the BSSM:AS project.

On the plus side, I've been adding more fics to Dragonfayth, and Blue Eyes and Apricots is only 19 members away from having 500 members! So tell all your friends to join! :D More Azureshippers! WHOO! (We shall conquer the world!)

Cut because there's always another... meme! )

I just finished sorting through all my Sailor Moon cards. I don't know what possessed me, really, but I think it was mentioning those odd attacks. The wrong one on a dub card was "Venus Electrobolts Slam!" Doesn't that sound more like one of Jupiter's attacks? But it got her "Thunderclap, Zap!" one right. Go figure. Doesn't someone also have a dub attack ending in "Slam!" though?

I also wanted to find the anime-only special cards of the "wedding" from Sailor Stars (they're not images from any real episode, though). Turns out I had most of them in my sticker album, so I'll have to scan them eventually. The collection is quite interesting, and I have a plethora of counterfeit cards based off ONE of the Mercury cards, using manga artwork instead of anime. It's funny how there are so many cards with just the very top of Mercury's head, someone else pictured, and "Sailor Mercury" at the bottom (sometimes not even fully visible). I wonder if the stuff I've got -some of which is in REALLY good condition, in sets, too!- can be sold or something. Not like I do anything with it. And once I scan it... well, I'm happy.
azurite: (blue flower)
Whoo-hoo! Yesterday was just all-around great (except for one "thing" at work that was minor but made me grumble, but whatever, in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter at all!). I was pretty excited in all my classes; my first teacher is petite AND energetic like me, and though Investigative Journalism seems a bit dry, it'll be sure to be challenging, as well. I'm looking forward to this semester! I'm also thrilled I got published in the Sundial on the VERY first day back- okay, not page one, per se, but my story WAS mentioned on the front page, though the actual story was on Page 6. And it turns out the editors AREN'T so anal with deadlines, because the EIC told me I could have come in the other day 5 minutes late, no worries-- but I'd run across campus from work, coughing and asthmatic. :P

I worked until 7pm, since those are the new hours M-Th this semester, and it was just non-stop busy! Yet I wasn't exhausted when I got home... Shawn came over after a bit, and we went to see "The Bourne Ultimatum" at the Winnetka theatre. We got dinner at Subway and had no problems getting it in, and the theatre was almost empty, so we had our choice of seats. The movie was really good, too! I liked it so much I reviewed it right away when I got home (using Flickster on Facebook; check it out!) and put the soundtrack (which also kicks ass) on my iTunes alerts. When I get paid again, I might get it, but for now all my money's going toward textbooks, my new computer/iPod, and my impulsive .Mac purchase.

And it's Friday, huzzah-- Grandpa's not going to be working at the pharmacy anymore, which is both unfortunate and good. Unfortunate because I think he'll be irritated with not being able to do things, but good because he can take care of HOME business like bills, cleaning up his massive stock-tracking collection (newspapers, magazine, etc.) He's been pretty forgetful lately, which is the primary reason behind his not working anymore- if he's not careful with his own (or Baba's) medicine, he can't be expected to be careful with other people's. It's sad, but safer and better that way, for everyone all around. I've tried to be as helpful as possible within reason-- I never want to baby them, because they've always been such independent individuals, but I can see the sense in making a list of all their medications so if one of them is sick or something, we can still know what to do. Of course, Grandpa was stubborn when I tried to do that, so Fred and Susy took over, but I don't know how much progress they made. I should probably email Fred and find out.

Music Meme! )

ETA: I neglected to mention (out of forgetfulness, not shame, REALLY!) that today is the one year anniversary since I last updated WDKY. I would like to say I have finished WDKY25 and will be posting it sometime before midnight tonight... but we'll have to see. Right now I'm taking the Word DOC version of Stubborn-Aesthetic's edits and making it into HTML (should have just asked for the HTML version, I'm too nice...), but there's still writing to be done.

Aside from all my usual distractions -family, personal stress, school, work- what I really need is a committed, single beta who is willing not just to concrit the usuals (spelling, grammar, punctuation, flow, diction, etc.) but also the story points, the characterization, and so on. I tend to write from an outline, so there are often parts of said outline left in my un-beta'd WDKY chapters, and I'd LOVE beta-reader input on how to go about answering those questions with prose, or addressing whether or not they're even pertinent to the story.

Frankly, I'm sick of not having a single person or small team of people to always go to. I realize people have lives of their own, so it's hard to always get the same people. That's why I'm looking for a committed few who think they can dedicate a few hours out of their lives every few months to helping me out with all that is WDKY, because trying to do it on my own can and has produced disastrous results. I want more than just one type of casual beta'ing, or JUST the straight "editorial fixes." I want someone to bounce ideas off of, ask questions of me, know the latest chapters and developments, have guesses of their own... everything. Know such a person(s)? Let me know. I'm going to finish this story... well, I would say "if it kills me," but isn't that ironic? The story is "What DOESN'T kill you." RDRR.
azurite: (azureshipping - fantastic)
I blame [livejournal.com profile] ceruleansan for this one. Her and [livejournal.com profile] an_ardent_rain for providing me with Azureshipping to make me jealous of, and [livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra for writing "Clean" and "Unclean," which will forever be stuck in my head. THUMBS UP, LADIES!

This isn't Grimms Fairy Tale, folks... )

Tonight wasn't too bad at all. I finally met up with Erin and Joyce (actually, they picked me up after getting lost here in S.F. Haha! I don't know SF driving-wise at all. I think of everything in terms of bus routes) and we headed to IKEA in Emeryville and then got a bit lost trying to get to Dad's place in Alameda. Erin and I played with Roy a bit (Roy still loves me :D :D) and then we went to dinner at this small Thai place with a "cute" young waitress (Joyce kept saying she was "cute," even though I thought the girl wasn't that young; she was probably between 16 and 19, which I think is beyond "cute" age in the usual sense of the word). The food was good, though I had leftover Gai Yang, so I brought it home.

We went back to S.F. and I got to see Erin's new apartment (in which I broke the toilet somehow, because it was running/not flushing and my opening the lid and dropping some tube thing didn't help), which is small, but very nice. And when she gets all the stuff she put together from IKEA set up, it'll look very nice. I helped her schlep all the furniture up the 2 flights of stairs, since she doesn't have an elevator in her place yet (but it's still nice, even though it's tiny as all hell and she's paying $400 more than my mom is- and my Mom has 2 bedrooms and a sunroom!).

Anywhoozles, tomorrow I head to the DLP in Moraga-- alas, the people I was going to carpool with either switched DLPs or are going on Saturday, so I'll be going all by my lonesome (hah) on the BART and bus. No biggie, been there, done that. The hard part's always packing light, especially since this is supposed to be a big important business-type event, so I have to ONLY bring what I need. And I still "need" to figure out some way of using Gary's printer (an HP Photosmart C6100) wirelessly. I figured how to do it Computer-to-Computer (ad hoc), but then it messes up any computers that DO use it wirelessly via Mom's router. Anyone have any idea how to do this? The instruction manual seemed pretty useless on this front.

I hope I can get up early enough tomorrow to still get my nails (and maybe my brows) done, and if I'm feeling bold, I can swing by the Metreon to grab that Writer's Toolbox from Chronicle Books that I want. Maybe the more craft books/kits I have, the more inspiration I can get/dish? [livejournal.com profile] akavertigo and I are supposed to be challenging each other to get writing, but 1) her challenges were HARD HARD HARD (and I don't see how to fit them into WDKY at all, let alone WDKY25), and 2) I can't think of anything to challenge her back with atm.

Of course, I don't even know if I'll have Internet access this weekend, but regardless, I want to have my laptop so I can at least "write" things down. I would hate it if inspiration DID strike and I had nothing to write/type on but little scraps of paper like I did back in the day.

That said... I should probably get to sleep. :P I kept napping throughout today, which explains why I'm always so tired in the daytime, but relatively perky at night. If I just force myself to go to bed at a semi-reasonable hour, maybe I won't feel so compelled to sleep in the daytime-- which, this weekend would be Very Bad (meriting caps, you see).
azurite: (kitty catch)
The best things in life are free
da da da dah
But you can keep them for the birds and bees
Give me money!
That's what I want
That's what I want (That's what I want)
That's what I waaaaaaaant
That's what I want (That's what I want)

So today I went with Mom to the Semester at Sea Open Ship event aboard the MV (formerly Universe) Explorer docked at Pier 35, and WOW! That ship is AMAZING. Mom's been on cruises before on luxury liners (I haven't) and even she was saying the ship was impressive. Okay, so the dorm rooms are about the size of my closet and the beds aren't even a twin, but the rest of the ship is just AMAZING. The classrooms have glass tables and soft, round, rotating chairs. The whole ship is wireless for internet and satellite phone, and there are snack bars, entertainment centers, a small pool, fitness centers, a full SPA! It's really incredible. And to get to travel/see the world and learn at the same time, sometimes from incredibly renowned people? Chance of a lifetime.

The catch? It's about $21,000. I have about $5000 in scholarship and loan money at the moment (not counting my Presidential Scholarship... for reasons which should be obvious), which has always been enough to cover for CSUN. I think as a senior, I can take out more money from the loans, but that's really a last resort. I'd rather get more scholarships and grants. The Institute for Shipboard Education has scholarships up to $7000, and work-study, but the latter programs are only available to students with an Expected Family Contribution (on their FAFSA) of $0. And while I've never actually received any money from either my mom or my dad for college, that's NOT what it says on my FAFSA, which is calculated according to taxes and such. Things that I have no control over, basically, since I can't be an independent student until I'm 25, even if I don't live with either of my parents, and, as far as I know, neither of them claim me (and though my grandparents *CAN*, they don't).

I thought I could apply and be notified of my status on the spot, but they want EVERYTHING ready-- not just the transcripts and clearance form, but the application (which had to be done on paper, because the computers were being fixed) and the attached essay. But because I went to the event, I can at least get the application fee waived, which is nice. So I can write that essay and mail everything out soon.

...So Dad (whom I saw today after the event) lent me his giant Peterson's Guide to Grants, Scholarships and Prizes. It's several hundred pages, with millions of listings, so let's hope I can get at least a few of them if I get accepted into SAS so I can actually *GO.* That and maybe I'll stage a fundraiser. ^^;

That said, the suckiness of today was that I lost my 7-day bus pass. Where, I don't know. Maybe on the ship, maybe on the 47 on the way to the Pier... I don't know. I went back to the ship to look for it, but I couldn't find it in any of the places I remember going or sitting, and no one in any of those areas had found it. I even left my number with an alum, but no call back. :( I know I'm only here for 2 more days, but still! What a waste of $24. I didn't take nearly as many bus trips as the value of the card was worth, and I'm really disappointed in myself. And my pants, with their stupid shallow pockets.

But the F-train that I took to the Embarcadero Bart had a really amusing driver, plus the cash box was broken, so I didn't have to pay anyway. I got enough money for the BART, and I met Dad at the Crucible. We went out for supper at this cute hole-in-the-wall Mexican Wrap place in Alameda, where I had 2 delicious enchiladas, and a kindergartener that learned the Mexican Hat Dance performed for us. He got a flan for his trouble-- so cute! And before I left, I had two of the very friendly servers speaking Japanese! :D Haha~

I then went with Dad to his new house (this is the 3rd place he's lived in since moving to Alameda; the last one was the one that burnt down/got flooded), which is a very nice place with a nice backyard of sorts, pretty stained glass windows, and big polished wooden columns. Very "Dad." And Roy (the cat) likes me! He meowed at me a lot, and liked to let me pet him. :) But he's a very big and somewhat irritable cat-- his tail was always swooshing!

We all watched "Chronicles of Riddick" (which I didn't really get; I guess it would have helped to have watched "Pitch Black" first, eh? But Dad said it was pretty scary), and had some Kettle Korn and Mexican Coca-Cola from the wrap place we'd gone to. Mexican Coke is the best! :D None of that high fructose corn crap-- it's REAL SUGAR! (Real teeth rot! YAY!) and then Dad took me to the Fruitvale Bart.

So here I am back at home, mildly amused because I saw a restaurant named "Namu" (as in, Malik's alias during the beginning of Battle City) on my way back home on the 31. I guess it was a good day-- I hope I can do a bit of shopping tomorrow and maybe hang out with people some more.

Recent Acquisitions:
* "Chew on This" by Eric Schlosser, the author of "Fast Food Nation." It's more on fast food, but it's not as difficult a read as FFN. Very good! Makes me want to teach it! There are a lot of good ideas for using it in various subjects in classes.

* Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters for PS2. (It was $9, I couldn't resist)

* Enya: Shepherd Moons. Nice music to fall asleep to. I got it at Goodwill for only $3.49, and it was in perfect condition!

* "Diary of a Mad Bride" and "Mermaid Saga 1," also obtained at Goodwill-- both in brand-new condition, for only $1.49 each. The manga even had the original Borders barcode sticker still on the back! :D

* Do Not Disturb lavender-and-rice-filled warming relaxation wrap. It takes 1 minute and 20 seconds to heat in the microwave to a good temperature that totally relaxes my shoulders, soothes headaches, and helps me sleep or relax. It was only $25 at the Discovery Channel store, which is unfortunately going out of business (except online).

I've also been editing WDKY as of late-- Chs. 9-12 all have been fixed, but not uploaded anywhere as of yet. I figure I'll do everything in order to get a sense of the story up until now (Ch. 25) and then just re-upload everything everywhere, all at once. It'll also be nice to work on the various portions of the WDKY website, so I can remember all the things that inspire me for particular parts of the saga.

That said... I think I'll look at Ch. 13 and then go to bed.
azurite: (usagi alone)
Sometimes just for the hell of it, I combine two topics on my mind into one warped subject line.

I had my first final today; it was for my Editing class. It wasn't too bad, actually; liberal use of my AP Stylebook really helped, as did a proofreading after I printed the first draft. I think I did pretty well, all things considered; I even got an A on the two papers Witten turned back to me, which means I might be doing better in the class than I thought.

As for the toilet, last week sometime I noticed the rec room bathroom toilet had flooded AGAIN (Let's put it this way; I was busy playing FFX-2 and had to take a break. I take ONE step within the vicinity of the bathroom, and my socked foot goes SQUISH in a very yucky way. I realize the extent of the damage, and holler for Grandpa). This time the damage was so bad (by the time we noticed it) that Baba just got fed up and said she wanted the carpet torn out. Because it happened on a Friday (I believe), we had to wait over the weekend for everything to clear up. And that meant the carpet stayed wet (despite us having the fan on and the windows open whenever we were home), and started getting mold and mildew. No good for someone with allergies, like me. So Baba kicked me out of the rec room fairly quickly whenever I was in there watching TV or playing video games.

There are guys from "American Craftsman Restoration" (their mascot is a guy that looks a bit like Captain America, RIP!) tearing out the carpet downstairs-- or half of it, anyway. Turns out there's concrete underneath. And the walls of the rec room are wood panels, and they go to the floor, so the ones near the bathroom were wet, too. So those might be getting torn out as well. Baba wants to replace the flooring with hardwood, like the kitchen, which won't be so bad; it'll be easier to move furniture in there, and sweeping will be easier than vacuuming around all that furniture. But the room's already the coldest in the house, and a hardwood floor won't make it any warmer. Not that anyone ever likes sleeping in that room (anymore) anyway.

I do hope AAA pays for the damage, because it's crazy how much we keep paying for this kind of thing to get fixed, and it just happens again, no helping it.

Anywho, I've got a bit of a to-do list for the rest of the day:
* Take the bookcase pieces and put them in their box again, before it starts raining and the box outside gets damaged beyond usability
* Work on a "character development" planner for WDKY, so I don't lose track of characterization and what is "OOC" in that universe or not (this is surprisingly important for WDKY25, as I'm coming to learn)
* Study for my graphics and Media Law exams tomorrow, which involve reading, reading, and more reading
* Assemble my books that I want to sell back to the bookstore
* Clean up my room a bit (!?)
* Try writing/planning a bit more of my scholarship book
* Read what I bought yesterday of Death Note (up to Vol. 12; is that the last one, or is there a 13? I can't remember...), and Ceres: Celestial Legend (missing volume 1 and 13, but oh well... special order!)
* Work on WikiFic

I was also thinking of a rant/poll of sorts to post here later, about what frustrates me about shoujo "heroines" and their romances. I tend to like the romances where there's a very explicit (as in "clear" not as in "sex sex and more sex") reason why two characters love each other and get together. In re-reading some of Ceres: Celestial Legend, I got a bit frustrated with Aya's obsession with Touya; I remember volume 1, when they first met, and all the subsequent volumes... I really don't think it's very justified why she falls for him when she's got Yuuhi, who loves her and cares for her very much, and doesn't bother with all the "I don't know" and mysterious amnesia/implanted memories stuff. I do get WHAT Touya is and what he represents, but... I don't like fickle or weak heroines. I still like the series, though.

And that, in turn, got me thinking about other series that I really like-- Sailor Moon was the first, and like so many other Moonies, I was a big Usagi x Mamoru fan. But why? It was well-established in canon, and it's not like there was ever a really good rival for Mamoru (let's be honest, Umino never stood a chance, Motoki had a girlfriend, Demando was evil, Haruka was gay, and Seiya was an alien AND appeared when Mamoru was gone and couldn't really "fend" for himself). I'm sure there's more to say and couples this can and cannot apply to, so I'll save that for later.
azurite: (all muses are busy...)
Rules: Each player of this game starts off with 10 weird things/habits/little known facts about yourself. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 10 weird habits/things/little known facts as well as state this rule clearly. At the end you need to choose some people to be tagged and list their names. No tagbacks.

Maybe you didn't want to know... )

TAG! [livejournal.com profile] mklutz, [livejournal.com profile] dqbunny, [livejournal.com profile] a_white_rain, [livejournal.com profile] cutieme4u, [livejournal.com profile] schmollieollie, [livejournal.com profile] geniusgirl, [livejournal.com profile] obabscribbler, [livejournal.com profile] praiseofshadows

You Should Maybe Go to Grad School

Grad school may be the right choice for you, but you need to investigate further.
So put those studying skill to use, and pick a program that's perfect for you.
And make sure you're going for the right reasons - not just to avoid getting a job.


Ugh, I have a headache and SHOULD go back to sleep (even though it's already 8:30am), but I'm not really "tired," per se. And I still haven't found the combo page to my Master lock... I don't really want to buy a new one, even if they are cheap. What the heck did I write the combo on? And where's the original slip that came with the lock? I swore I had it somewhere near my desk...

Oh well, at least I emptied the boxes mom sent me (more art supplies and books... yay, room is a TOTAL mess), and I fixed up all the Chapter Notes for WDKY on Dragonfayth (all you people posting delish Seto x Anzu here on LJ, come on, share the wealth! Put it up on Dragonfayth so it can be easily found and favorited! That includes all the smut!) I'll re-read the whole fic soon and maybe make some progress with 25 before school starts on Monday. And today-- must go do some shopping, even if it's just shoes and a few books.
azurite: (tokyo map)
Since I have to return my Yahoo! BB modem tomorrow, this will probably be my last entry from Japan. *emo!tear*

I suppose I could wax about how the experience has been for me, but to be honest, I think that's best saved for when I'm finally back at home and re-adjusting to "my real life," or at least "my other life," back "home" in the States. Besides, I've been doing entries here rather regularly, so I think people that keep up with my LJ have at least a general idea of what it's been like for me, or what I've been thinking/feeling, for the most part.

But, as some of my parting thoughts on all things random:
-I need some sort of app. for iTunes to better manage all my songs. My biggest irk with iTunes is that when I delete a playlist off my iPod, it doesn't delete the associated songs, so I have to FIND the associated songs and delete them manually in order to save space. I wouldn't need to do this if I knew exactly what was on my iPod (seriously, what is that "other" stuff?), or if the Sync Manager told me when I selected playlists that wouldn't fit on my iPod. I *ONLY* put Playlists on my iPod (that is to say, not random songs that are NOT somewhere on a playlist), so this irritates me. Does anyone know of an option?

I started reading 51 Days of PGSM over at AFSM, and I found a link to Ryuusei's fansubs of the PGSM Oshiokiyo! DVD extras... I downloaded them all, and they were pretty funny. And the episode recaps had me thinking of something I could do for WAFF Day. I know I said something like that before (because I have that idea that would work well for TAFF Day, or WAFF vs. TAFF day, or just a SM fic in general), but maybe if I worked on it a little, that would be good. I know I've said that I want to stay in Yu-Gi-Oh until I finish WDKY, but maybe the reason why 25 is so hard for me to finish isn't just because of the difficukt subject matter, but because the story as a whole seems tiresome by now. If I work on something else for a little while, think about other characters and situations, when I go back to 25, it'll be refreshing (I hope), and then I can finally work on the arc that made me excited about WDKY to begin with-- 26-28! The thing is, the SM fic idea (not the TAFF one) is a First Season romance of sorts, but with an idea distinctly borrowed from the drama-verse. But the anime, manga, and drama are pretty different from each other in their own distinct ways, so if anything, I'd probably have to write it as an anime-verse fic borrowing some ideas from the drama.

I'm hoping I'll manage to cram everything into my suitcase-- it's pretty much full at this point, with everything except my pajamas and tomorrow's outfit in there. I'm thinking I'll just have to give Daniel my leftover Cream of Wheat, but I can get rid of the juice, cookies/macaroons, oatmeal, and hot cocoa tomorrow or Tuesday. And since they're small packets, I might be able to cram them into my backpack, even though it's already so heavy... but at least with Holly's help, we seriously reduced the weight of the package I'm going to send back to the States. Because of the snowman figurine I got for Xmas, I still can't fit things into a shoebox or a smaller box than the one I have, but hopefully the weight will be the primary thing that lessens the cost. Plus the things in there now are things I can live without for a month, so I can still survive off Surface Mail (boat).

I'm still worried that the airport will call me on my suitcases being heavy (plus the extra bag... I can't afford two charges, I really can't, so I hope that all my bags are under 70 lbs. each-- they should be!), or that they'll rail on me for the blanket/Toro-kun bag. Holly doesn't think they will, and I hope she's right. I ended up leaving more things for my roommates than I originally intended, but I hope they put them to good use and don't think I'm just unloading stuff on them to make my life easier (though that is part of it). I wish I could take my nice wooden hangers with me, or my Dove body soap, but I guess those are things I can get in the States, so I shouldn't think about it so much. Same goes for the hand sanitizer... I'm totally an abuser of that stuff, but in all the time since Mom sent it to me, I only used the 2 mini-bottles and about half of one of the larger 8 oz. bottles. I still have an unsealed one left, and I packed that one, but the other one I guess I'll leave here to save room... for my sneakers, or my razor, or something more important. :P After that, it's just my purse, my daily meds, and my mousepad... actually I think I'll probably take that off now.

I should go to bed soon anyway-- even if there's no formal meeting or anything tomorrow, I want to wake up in order to enjoy breakfast, meet my tutors and share my cookies, and maybe go out to lunch with Holly at the meat place near school before I go to the post office and possibly the bank to exchange my money.

Wish me luck!
azurite: (tokyo map)
First, I updated WDKY on Dragonfayth to the latest chapter. I guess because some chapters were longer than others and contained those 'ye old alphanumeric character codes' I had to c&p the HTML from Dreamweaver into the story text box (with the TinyMCE checkbox turned off). I know at least some of the slow, "unresponsive" script errors were because of the world "curl" in my stories, but I wonder if the script mangling the alphanumeric codes is something fixable...

I'm also considering including my logs and things up at Dragonfayth too, making it a fully-fledged series with notes and such. If not Dragonfayth, then definitely at Epiphany. But I think the Review Replies will stay here on LJ, just to make things easier (that's subject to change...) Speaking of RRs, I still have to post them for Chapters 23-24 of WDKY, so look for those soon-ish.

I say "ish" because I DID pack two of my bags today, leaving only one left, but I still have to cram a lot of clothes (the rest until Tuesday) and some other random things in there. I'm honestly hoping that crappy United will let me get away with my carry-on (backpack), my personal item (purse) and a shopping bag with just my blanket and Toro-kun (the stuffed cat). And yes, crappy United. Would you believe that for my ONE extra bag, it's $167 USD!? Because of that wholly unexpected amount (which is about 75% of my paycheck), I had to ask Mom for money *AGAIN*. I felt rotten doing it, but she was quick and okay with it. And as it turns out, I owe her less than I thought-- I found a copy of my super-expensive T-Mobile bill (luckily I printed it out; apparently T-Mobile only keeps your last 2 bill statements online) and calculated out what she paid and what I'd paid, and what I owe her for that is less than I thought. So that plus another $400... it's still a lot of money, but I have to do it.

What's left to pack:
-toiletries (stuff I use in the bathroom, though I might decide to leave the Dove Body Soap behind, much as I love the stuff... plus lotion, anti-bacterial, meds, brush)
-clothes
-some papers
-cat mug, cat plate, yellow bowl, striped glass (?), deco plate, forks, chopsticks, knife, spoon
-leftover oatmeal, cream of wheat, cocoa (make cookies with everything else)

? - Wish I could take my plastic cat trash can, but I don't know if it would fit... 'sides, it's smaller than my Purple one back in the states, so maybe I should just give it to my roommates? I'm doing that with many hangers and such. Should I even bother trying to take my lighter? I bought it for my incense, but my incense is almost gone... and short of the common kitchen downstairs, no one has a gas range here, which is the only thing I can think of using it for (since no one else is an incense queen like I am. Holly said it smelled like hippies in my room!). But I don't want everything in my bag catching on fire, either!

Scott was telling me that parents still want to feel needed and help out whenever they can, but I feel selfish for asking so much of my mom. This trip -for me, at least- was supposed to prove how I could survive being independent and on my own, even for just a little while (and still with perks-- a well-paying job and no rent, basically). It's not that I'm not going to pay my mom back in full, but I guess I shouldn't feel so guilty over it (and I do, to an extreme degree. I don't even wanna talk about it anymore).

But in the end, I can't go to the sleepover/party thing tomorrow, anyway. And I guess I don't really care, because that'll save me more money for mailing things back home, doing my hair (possibly) on Saturday at the Access Moon salon in Akatsuka, going food shopping, etc. And on Friday I'm supposed to go bowling with my tutors, so I want to save up a bit for that, too. I want to finish packing bit by bit though, as each day goes by, so I don't feel stressed the day before I leave. I still feel like I have so much stuff to pack, even though earlier today I was relieved that I'd have the money for my 3rd suitcase-- the biggest one, too. Now it feels like I'm back to not being able to decide what to keep and what to ditch, or how to pack, because it seems almost full and I still have so much to pack IMHO. But my backpack and purse still aren't so filled up yet, so maybe that'll help ease it up somewhat.

I'm still confused about where I put some of my CDs/DVDs though, if I put them anywhere... I thought I had NANA anime eps. 20-25 (that would be 2 CDs), but I couldn't find them amongst the box I intended to send (too expensive, so I crammed them into my 2nd suitcase), and they weren't in my CD case. I wonder if I deleted all those files to save HD space? I'd hate it if I did, but unless they're in the box that I've already taped up, I have no idea if I even burned them to CD. In any case, they're not on my HD anymore... though I do have the latest episode (33) and Yu-Gi-Oh! (Toei), eps 16-18. Yay for TV-Nihon getting down to the grind on that!

I should go to bed soon... we don't have class, really (well, I do for 3rd and 5th), but we do have a feedback session during 2nd period, from 10:30 to 11:30, and I have to wake up early enough to call the SF Office of JTB travel to get them to add my United Mileage Plus number to my account... and maybe then I can officially switch my seat on the plane. Kekekeke.
azurite: Part of the "What Doesn't Kill You" series of fanfic icons (wdky (general))
My god, part of me really, really hates WDKY right now.
Not because I don't like any part of what I've already written/posted, or the concept behind it, or how much I've planned it out (okay, maybe that a LITTLE bit), but really, it's a freaking MONSTER of a fic. Every five chapters or so, I just have one of these chapters that is SO DAMN IMPOSSIBLE to write. I can have it planned out to the nth degree, but it just doesn't want to go from script/planned-out form to PROSE. It doesn't want to sound NATURAL. It just seems like typographical SLOP.

Like Chapter 25. It's both a filler chapter (it's not part of a particular arc) and an important plot chapter (because it closes some loose ends, reminds you of important things, and sets the stage for the upcoming arc). A while ago, I was so super-confident-- I was writing, I was writing-- I was on a ROLL! It was getting done! But then I got to the mucky steam part, and my engine died on me.

Writing steam/sex/any derivative thereof seems to be like eating fish for me: I know I can do it, I know there's nothing wrong with it, but something in my brain just runs screaming in the other direction when I even make the attempt. I gag. I choke. I quit.

That's not so much the issue anymore. But WDKY as a whole is one of those fics where I try to blend the canon (magical card games) with the realistic (romance troubles, friendship woes, school issues, money problems). I try to make the characters three dimensional, as characters you can relate to, sympathize with, or at the very least UNDERSTAND (the why of their actions). So obviously the steam scene has consequences on the characters and the story at large, and I've been getting a few ideas this weekend and trying to write them into the chapter... but they're not coming out as prose.

I've got paragraph after paragraph of "planner text" which is basically like "So and so did this, so and so said this" but it's all very flat, boring. All "tell" and no "show." And I still feel like I'm missing or forgetting something, or maybe trivializing something that should be important, and placing too much emphasis on something that's not. I don't want to be repetitive (saying things I've already said in that chapter, or in past chapters).

It seems like the chapter that would never end, but it's only 88KB so far! That's shorter than a lot of the bigger, heavier chapters that have been so much harder to write! So I don't really know what's wrong with me, other than me choking up before this big important arc that I've SO been looking forward to writing (and as it turns out, writing things out of order is very bad for me, and screws the story up, which is why I'm not just "skipping ahead" to write Chs. 26-28). I think it's like Airplane Syndrome-- you have a big long flight tomorrow morning, and you know you should rest so you can get to the airport on time, but you JUST CAN'T SLEEP. Except in this case, I've got this great arc I want to work on, and make sure it's sufficiently built-up and understandable (coming in when and how it does), but I'm STUCK on this thing that's "just" filler.

ARGH!!!!! Maybe I should go back and re-read past chapters of WDKY, instead of thinking solely about future chapters and sequels. I don't know. HELP!

ETA: I'm sorting through all my tags and getting rid of the duplicate tags. For example, why have "fanfics" when "fanfiction" is just fine, and I tagged [almost] all the entries with both, anyway? Well, apparently ONE entry had "fanfics" and not "fanfiction" but for the life of me, I couldn't find it. And I'm having the same issue with TWO entris tagged with "azureshipping" and not "seto x anzu". I want to get rid of the "azureshipping" tag, since "seto x anzu" works just as well, and fits the pattern I've used for other fandoms. I've already tried viewing all the entries with the tag, but I just don't see the two entries in question. Can anyone help me figure out how to find those lost two entries? Is there a way to search an entry by the tags it DOES and DOES NOT use (i.e. search by exclusion)?

Tadaima!

Jan. 2nd, 2007 11:40 pm
azurite: (rikku samurai)
Yay, I'm back "home" in Mito, and while I've yet to get fully unpacked and everything (especially considering I should actually START packing a little to go to my REAL home in the States), I'm in a decent enough mood. For starters, though, a question: how the heck do you change foreign coins? When I left Hong Kong, I had some Hong Kong dollars leftover-- not much, just about $12 (a little under $2 USD, maybe), but the exchanger at Narita airport wouldn't take them. And I just visited Holly to give her an omiyage, and she told me that they don't take coins as a rule, because it would cost too much to ship them (presumably back to their country of origin, where they can re-enter circulation). So what the heck do I do with these coins!? I need the money...

Next up:
* Scanning Nana, Ch. 65 for the Nana Takoyakis group
--does anyone know how to get of "scanner burns" on the side of pages, short of re-scanning something over and over? I've tried using the Dodge tool, Levels, and all sorts of other things, but certain parts still look weird...

* Translating some of "The Legend of Mythica," the soundtrack CD to the Tokyo DisneySea water event that I *LOVED* to bits
--The initial prologue (as told by Mickey and the Diamond Goddess) in Part 3 introduces the "Spirits" of various things that, when harmonized, summon the five Crystal Goddesses (Violet, Green, Blue, Red, and Gold). The first one sounded like the "Spirit of Comic Songs." o_O; What? (I'm not sure which Disney character that was during the actual event; I know that Pluto and Goofy switched places -on the CD, Pluto is Violet and Goofy is Green, but during the event, it was the other way around. Then there's the "Spirit of Friendship," the "Spirit of Sincerity/Honesty/Faith", the "Spirit of Adventure," and finally, the "Spirit of Love" (I know that one is Minnie, without a doubt). Mickey is technically the "Spirit of Imagination." The other characters (besides the ones already mentioned) are Donald Duck, and Chip & Dale. Which do you think is which? I'm trying to remember...

I think tomorrow when I'm back and somewhat settled in (and with an organized list of what to do), I'll do a recap of everything that happened the past 10 days or so. It's certainly been an adventure.

By the way, is there any sort of patron god or goddess of transportation? My Muse really needs a name, and as has been happening for the past 6 years or so, I got inspired while traveling-- this time on the Joban-sen while heading back home. Alas, the idea is for "Eternal Dimension" in the later chapters-- a fic which I have not even begun to write, because it's the third and final installment in the "What Doesn't Kill You" series, and I'd like to get PART 1 finished before I even think about Part 3. My Muse loves to torture me so. ;_;

I also posted a bit about the logic of Seto x Anzu on Pearl of a Dark Age's FFnet forum on fanon pairings; check it out and add to the list!
azurite: (pluto henshin)
Okay, so on my platter of loverliness:

(1) Get help with the new install of eFiction 3.0 over at Dragonfayth (and soon Epiphany as well; Epiphany's still running the beta version), because the categories menu has gone to hell, the featured story and random author blocks aren't showing up (even though the right variables are in place), and there's only a beta version for the featured author block until someone updates it. Le sigh.

(2) Figure out wtf is up with my funky Surpass server, because apparently it won't accept a particular PHP command that Enthusiast 3 (the fanlisting management script I'm using) throws at it. I need it to work, because the whole beauty of Enth3 is that you can have a collective website (showing what you've joined/are a member of, what you own, and who you're affiliated with), a fanlisting (or more), and the admin panel, all neatly organized. And BEA and the admin panel are working just fine, except the collective listing is supposed to call a particular page from the enth3 admin folder, but it can't seem to do it properly. And the people at Surpass basically told me "We don't support 3rd party scripts; tell us what you're missing, and we'll see if we can help." So I'm bouncing between forums trying to get all this PHP mess figured out.

(3) Do a slightly (?) backdated issue of [livejournal.com profile] weekly_ygo, because no one else is doing it. Maybe if I read enough YGO fandom news, I will start writing WDKY again. :( In any case, if anyone can help me out EVEN A LITTLE, I would really appreciate it. Even if the fandom's not so active anymore, I have to catch up on all entries from November 21st 5:17pm GMT onward. So it's a little over 2 weeks due at this point, and with entries from PTDC (the most active community) *AND* all the other comms, it might be more than I can handle in one night or even "soon," just because of my workload here.

...Scott said he'd call me when I got back from EC (I told him it was an hour and a half, and it's already been over that), and I haven't heard a peep. Not an email, not an IM... *sigh* I'm already really looking forward to going home and seeing him again, but maybe I'm being too "clingy" again, even from 3000+ miles away. :P
azurite: (violet lips)
Sandy, you wanted to know just how you were in an influence on me, especially for the WDKY series? Well if I tell you, you also have to accept the blame for my insane shopping trip today, because they both relate to the same thing-- or rather, person!

You introduced me to Sarah Brightman's "Harem" CD back when "Dying Autumn Leaves" (I believe) was a brand new idea, and we bounced back ideas about our respective fics in chat and email. You mention Sarah Brightman's "Harem" CD as being inspirational for you, and told me to check it out on WinAmp. I did, and I was hooked ever since. I got the Harem World Tour - Live in Las Vegas CD from my mom that Christmas, and bought myself the Harem studio CD for myself as a present.

And today at Shinseido, the local media store at Mito Eki, I scored Diva: The Singles Collection (I feel better that I bought it), Sarah Brightman CLASSICS, the Harem "desert fantasy" DVD, and the A Question of Honour/A Whiter Shade of Pale remix CDs. I wanted to buy the Diva Video Collection as well, but it was sold out! Sarah's #1 in Japan right now, and only a few days after Diva came out, it's already Gold on the Japan pop charts!

EVEN BETTER, she's coming to Japan next weekend, and will be at Tokyo Ginza's Yamano record store. I really want to go, but I hope [livejournal.com profile] baine can come with me. It'll depend on trains and other transportation, since she's not exactly anywhere near Tokyo.

As for how Sarah Brightman relates to WDKY and its sequels, well, it was inspirational to me, too. Very much so, in fact, so I can't thank [livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra enough for introducing me to her. Now I'm a Sarah Brightman junkie. :) I want to find more of her CDs, especially the Asian-only release ones, which contain special tracks not found anywhere else! I was very tempted to buy the Japanese Harem Ultimate Edition CD I found today, but I resisted, since it only had 2 bonus tracks-- the rest I had from my own Harem CD (except "You Take My Breath Away," which was the US bonus track).

Speaking of WDKY, I wrote more of it-- er, this morning? Yesterday morning? I'm losing track of time because it's a 4-day weekend and I'm planning on sleeping in, even if there is a school festival. Let's just hope the festival doesn't wake ME up! I'm almost done, and once I am, I'll shoot it to Kysra and Atlantis, whom I expect will chew it apart and spit it back out like the gristle from KFC's would-be chicken. I'm looking forward to it. *bows to the masters*

I even heard from Scott today-- via email, of all things. His contacting me was the perfect finish to a very good day spent out eating and shopping with a friend. If I can polish off WDKY25, get some other random things done, and finish all my work, I will be happy that I have accomplished something this weekend-- even if working sort of defeats the purpose of a weekend. I spend all week looking forward to it, but at least we have another long weekend NEXT weekend, when I hope to meet up with Baine. :)

Screwed!

Oct. 23rd, 2006 12:18 am
azurite: (pluto henshin)
Okay, so BBTV was a bust-- you need a TV or another device that accepts video input for it to work... stupid me thought that you used your BBTV connection to view TV on your computer, kind of like how my roommate does. So I have this massive BBTV box which I cannot do anything with. Thankfully, my roommates said they'd call Yahoo tomorrow and find out what they could do.

Second is, someone on SMRFF suggested I try and get the SM episodes I'm missing via this website... which uses Sendspace, rather than their own domain/bandwidth, so of course, there aren't enough slots for me to download one episode, let alone 60 or more. I noticed they had an IRC server, so I made to get myself an IRC client for the Mac, but even the most simplistic one (made to look like iChat) doesn't seem to want to connect to irc.rizon.net (the server with a bazillion and a half channels) via ethernet OR wireless. So I don't know what to do. Maybe LimeWire, or Torrents, if I can find them. I'm pretty sure Sailormoon is no longer licensed in the U.S., but I don't know if that means VKLL's old subs will suddenly reappear or what. (If anyone knows where I can snag some, let me know!)

Also, if you think Japan is "land of the anime," you're not too far from the truth-- every grocery store, clothing store, etc. has anime in it-- well, sort of. Pretty Cure, Toei's latest magical girl series, is everywhere in some form or another, and the boys' equivalent ranges from Dragonball Z (most of the time) to the occasional One Piece. I have yet to see Yu-Gi-Oh *ANYWHERE* in great abundance. What I find baffling about Pretty Cure is that the new season is a spinoff-- called Pretty Cure Splash Star, and though the girls look and almost act exactly the same as their predecessors, they are a) from another universe, b) have different titles, powers, and mascots, and c) have no discernable relation to the original Pretty Cure seen in the first two seasons of the show. COLOR ME CONFUSED. Why not make the "new" Pretty Cure look different, rather than long-haired versions of the old Pretty Cure? And what HAPPENED to the old Pretty Cure, anyway?
I don't know anything about the series and have never watched it-- that's just what I've learned from looking at products. :P

In other news, WDKY25 is coming along-- I've got 2-3 scenes done already, with something like 3-4 left to go, if that. I think I'm having way too much fun with Bakura in this fic. If anyone is up for beta'ing (assuming I get it done this week), please let me know.

Blue Eyes and Apricots is back to functionality, I've noticed; before, for some strange reason, notification emails never made it to me about new members joining, and even when I checked the panel, it didn't list new members. I added several members manually, and since then, 3 members have joined and I've been notified. So we're nearly 450 members strong! The Fanart section is still gone though, because there doesn't seem to be a method I can think of for hosting the fanart short of doing a password-protected ML/email account or folder on the domain-- and even then, I know people will skim "the rules" and inevitably end up using the images in ways they shouldn't.

Today Holly and I went out toward Akatsuka; I ended up buying a new pair of hi-top Converse (even though what I *REALLY* need are new boots and ballet flats) that are so dorkalicious (dip-dyed rainbow colors!) that I'm a dweeb just for thinking about buying them (and worse for actually doing it). I also bought a new purple long-sleeved shirt (when can I resist?), the elusive Ginger for my Pumpkin Pie this week, and a few random things at the glory that is Daiso (the 100 yen store). But I'd say the best part of the day is how we went to this Italian restaurant called GROOVY.

I saw it, and Bruce Campbell's voice just came into my head. Over and over. It kept me grinning the whole time, even though I didn't understand the concept of "Set A plate" fully. I ended up getting chicken and tomato spaghetti, corn potage, and a salad with a rather funny-tasting dressing. I ate as much as I could, and felt no guilt about leaving leftovers. It was good, but the portions here are huge for me. Maybe moreso considering they don't do takeout!

Well, I better get to sleep so I can finish up my homework in the morning, have a decent breakfast, and spend Monday running around like a chicken with its head cut off (as I always do). Hopefully I'll get inspired enough to finish WDKY25 in one sitting!
azurite: (isis midol)
Ow. Okay, so I had my first lesson in bike riding today. What, you didn't know Mer the Inept is not only Terrified of Driving (I'm sure there's a phobia name for that) but that she has also never successfully ridden a bike (since age 10 or so, and I hate to tell you, but you CAN forget if the incident is traumatic enough). But to get around here in Japan, it's either dish out a bunch of money for bus tickets, set aside a good few hours to walk, or... bike. Everyone else bikes, so why not me? I paid 500 yen for a bike registration, and today Kevin, Daisuke, and Todd teamed up to give me lessons.

And I think I improved a bit, even if I can't "ride" quite yet. Balance first! But because the bike is a small one rescued from the trash, it's not exactly in top quality. The handlebars are way too hard (I keep death-gripping them and giving myself bruises) and the seat... well, just read the subject line. MY ASS HURTS. But I'm glad I'm not a guy. :P Well, for just that one thing.


HowManyOfMe.com
LogoThere are:
6
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?



I want to meet these 5 other women. :D

This seems to be the season for Seto/Anzu fics! Yay! If I beat bribe my muse to get into high gear, I might even have the next chapter of WDKY in time for Kaiba's birthday. That'd be a dream come true, really-- because I keep thinking about is Ch26 and beyond. 25 is like a big hulking road block. But it's always good to get inspired by others- namely [livejournal.com profile] geniusgirl and the ever-eloquent [livejournal.com profile] atlantian_magic (expect a letter + omiyage from me soon! I haven't had time to get to the post office...).

Finally, FRUSTRATION! This whole Pages-is-like-Office-but-without-some-functionality pisses me off. I just want to print some freakin' labels! Pages doesn't do that, but Address Book does-- except they don't have the right label size (I'm trying to specify my own size, but it only asks for margins and gutters, rather than the damn label size! WTF!?). The FileMakerPro 8 trial is listed on my label's packaging, but I can't, for the life of me, figure out how to even get started. There's not a thing in the program labeled "Labels," and the Help file might as well be Greek. (One more reason to end up spending the $150 on Office for Mac. Yes, Scott tried to give it to me, but it didn't work. It might have been because I didn't know what I was doing -installing by just dragging and dropping!?-, but it also could have been that he didn't copy the CD properly.)

I want to add Turkmenistan to the list of countries in the Change Address Format submenu in Address Book, but there seems to be no documentation on that, either. So I've asked at the Apple forums to see if maybe there's some sort of plist fix I can do in OmniOutliner or somesuch. It's either that or... again, invest in MS Office. This is how they maintain the monopoly, I imagine -they stuff their suite so full of features that you don't realize how much you need it until it's gone, not in the "comparable" suite for Mac, or the program that can supposedly do it can't do it EXACTLY the right way you need-- when MS Office *CAN*.

I wanted to upload images from iPhoto to my Scrapbook, like I've been saying I'll do, but short of browsing EACH and every damn folder to find the right image, there's no way to export them directly. I got two programs that can supposedly do it -one standalone and one plugin- and so far, neither of them have worked. One couldn't even find iPhoto's albums, and the other is apparently not compatible with the latest iPhoto, version 6. There ARE no other options, because the Perl script has modules unavailable on OSX, and the other option is that rotten Windows XP Explorer add-in. I used jix.jar back on XP, and while rudimentary, it worked.

I also liked IrfanView, because I could batch rename and resize things. There is a Batch Change option in iPhoto, but only for Title, Date, and Keywords. And when I go into Constrain in the Edit function, it only lets me customize by inches-- and I can't find a way to change it to say, pixels, or even millimeters. What if I have a photo I want to upload to the web? Can't I resize it according to a maximum KB size?

Gah, this is annoying.
azurite: (roses are red)
Saw "Snakes on a Plane" with Erin on Friday evening... even if I dropped out of the cult-following a few months ago, it was still fabulous fun, and I loved it. It was very much deserving of the R-rating, especially at the beginning of the movie, but it managed to be both suspenseful and unpredictable-- great, considering how many people judge the movie by its title (or its poster). And the band that won the fan contest to have their music video in the end credits-- that song was DAMN good! It's actually sort of stuck in my head! Erin said the band reminded her of the Black Eyed Peas.

What was fabulous was when EVERYONE in the theatre (and this was a big theatre, but not sold out by any means) -except Erin, who had no freaking clue what was going on- said The Line in unison "I've had it with these motherfuckin' snakes on this motherfuckin' plane!" Yes, even me. It was fab. Absolutely fab. And of course everyone started cheering afterward.

Spoilers, of course )

And now for something completely different...

I really would have thought that the damn "pink is for girls" concept would have DIED by now. First off, I, a self-respecting woman, HATE PINK. Especially cotton candy pink, Chibiusa pink, hot pink, or any derivative thereof. The closest I can come is maybe a deep rose color that I wear for blush or lip gloss. But then you have the freakin' PINK Razr. -_-; But hey, guys are wearing pink now... it looks weird to me, especially seeing ripped black guys wearing those AE pink polos, but whatever. Personally, I just don't like the color. But, to each their own.

Last night I got to cleaning my room, and of course I found tons of notes for fanfics, including WDKY. I had to go back and check to make sure that I'd made the changes I indicated on paper; I also had to add some "references" to the WDKY References page. Unfortunately I haven't been keeping up with the Changelog (the thing that I use to track all the updates I make to chapters, and what specific changes I make), but I can pretty much guess based on what I've added to the Reference log. I have random references in a lot of places, but at least I'm not Cassie Claire in this respect; I keep track of everything, and invent my own convoluted plot twists and references. I just wish there was a way to get Snakes on a Plane in there somehow. *snicker joke* Well anyway, I uploaded the new version of the References page to the old Darkness Rising (at some point, it will be under the new masthead of Epiphany, running eFiction 3.0), and later on tonight, I'll be updating Chapters 11 and 14 for some minor tweaks on all sites.

More fanfic-wise, I actually got inspired for a Sailor Moon fic. This kind of makes me feel better, considering how unsure I've been re: Only 16. Having a good idea (and getting started on it) would mean I have something to replace Only 16 in terms of Sailor Moon fics under my name; this would also be something dramatic and long, so it wouldn't feel like I'm shafting Only 16 into the oblivion (even though that's where it belongs). Actually, I thought of a way to combine this Very Good Idea with one that I wanted to do for [livejournal.com profile] sm_monthly (I never got past Chapter 1 of it, unfortunately, because WDKY has been keeping me on my toes; I don't want to get too distracted. I've already stopped reading the 200 days of Sailormoon posts at AFSM, and I'm backlogged by about 310 posts!). But I don't think I will, just because it would complicate things too much.

Finally, it looks like the next 2 people up for the Astrology, Blood Types, and Yu-Gi-Oh! feature on [livejournal.com profile] playthedamncard are...
* Ryou Bakura
* Katsuya Jounouchi
I'll try and get started on some of that now. Yesterday I bought myself the 2nd edition (2001) edition of Parker's Astrology, one of my favorite books on astrology. I've also been using Astrology Source to calculate things like midhavens/medium coeli, imum coeli, decantes, desendants, and other fun things. Takes all the hard calculating out of the game, so I can do more "character exploration." I have the book with me today at work (actually spent the first few hours of work reading it, because my phone was broken and I was on "standby"), and since all the old sites I used are on the previous posts, I shouldn't have any problem constructing Ryou's profile. I'll have to add things (like his Mystical Card number) later on, and I can always include new things each time-- numerology, tarot... ^_^ It's all related! Go ahead and read the last 2 posts on Yuugi Mutou and Seto Kaiba, and tell me what you think!
azurite: (Default)
1) Reply to this if you want me to tell you how cool you are!

2) Watch my journal for a few days for a post just about you and why you rock my socks.

3) Post these instructions in your journal and give your friends a much needed dose of love and adoration!

Don't all overwhelm me at once, now.

Did you know I have a few fics that are still LJ-only? One I posted... I think last Christmas (or maybe the Christmas before that?) for [livejournal.com profile] yuugiouxmasfic never made it to FFnet. *impish smile* But it is under "Azurite's Fanfiction" in my memories. And I still REALLY want to finish my claim for [livejournal.com profile] 30kisses, because I have so many "large" fragments of them (i.e. for "Girls' Club" and "Kaiba the Virgin Sacrifice", but gosh darn it, WDKY is priority! ;_; Won't anyone help me beta? Do I have to start calling in favors?)

Also found two new, rather interesting fics for Azureshippers by way of FFnet C2: silentshadow1's "Second Side," and Shinja-chan's "I am Kaiba Anzu." Like many other fics I've found via FFnet in some size, shape, or form, I'll be adding them to the BEA database eventually. I think I'm going to change the colors of the layout for Autumn, though. :}
azurite: (all muses are busy...)
You Are Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

You are kind, popular, and generous.
You tend to be successful at anything you try.
A social butterfly, you are great at entertaining a crowd.

You are most compatible with strawberry ice cream.


I'm a social butterfly? FTW? Well, at least it's not out-and-out chocolate ice cream, because THAT: I hate. Okay, I dislike it. :P Chocolate is only good when it's in hot cocoa, milk chocolate candy bars, or rich fudge brownies.

Speaking of cold treats, I had one of those tasty Whole Fruit strawberry popsicle treats today. It was only 99 cents, and it had chunks of whole strawberry in it! Pretty tasty. Now I'm trying to wolf down a lunch special of my favorite Chinese food: Sweet and Sour Chicken with steamed rice, mandarin orange slices, and a can of Coke. :D Ah, this is nice.

You Belong in San Francisco

You crave an eclectic, urban environment. You're half California, half NYC.
You're open minded, tolerant, and secretly think you're the best.
People may dismiss you as a hippie, but you're also progressive, interesting, and rich!


HAHAHAHAHA. This is funny. (If you need to ask why, you don't know me well enough.)

You Are Cyclops

Dedicated and responsible, you will always remain loyal to your cause.
You are a commanding leader - after all, you can kill someone just by looking at them.

Power: force beams from your eyes


Great. So this means I won't even never mind, I don't want to spoil you!!!!

You Are 28% Cynical

Generally you give people the benefit of the doubt. But there are exceptions.
You buy into many of the things that mainstream society believes, but you're not anybody's fool.


Yeah, I suppose this is about right.

Anyway, moving away from the memes and such, I re-read "Something to Somebody" (what can I say, I'm a masochist), and I've decided that while I love the plot, I hate how I wrote it. It's dumb. And I'm so freakin' uninspired for WDKY24 (other chapters, sure. CO7 or ED? FINE! But I can't write the last 3 critical scenes of WDKY24! Darn it, I need to have a brainstorm session with a beta or something. Where has everyone gone? ;_; I wanna chat, guys!) that I may just do what I did when I *started* those other fics -work on other things until I get inspired. It's sad that WDKY24 is already 5+ months in the making and I haven't finished it, but... alas, such is the way of epic WIPs.
azurite: (Mai's graceful but evil)
Back from Fanime!

Swag
* Ayashi no Ceres DVDs, episodes 7-19
* Kindaichi Case Files manga, #12: Tarot Lodge
* Purple dice earrings
* Aquamarine Mandarin short-sleeved shirt (zip-back)
* Shoujo Beat (June 2006)

I loved the Marriott. The hotel staff was insanely nice, the beds were super-comfy (zOMG king-sized MARSHMALLOW!), and the food was pretty damn good-- even if the portions, like the bedrooms, were huge. My Yuna cosplay was pretty successful, and I had no real qualms about my Anzu cosplay other than that there weren't that many other YGO cosplayers. BUT! I did meet [livejournal.com profile] chibipriestess, who cosplayed Malik, and her friend, who cosplayed bondage!Yuugi (I would say Yami no Yuugi, except she lacked the Millennium Puzzle, so we can just say that the puzzle got sucked into the 'Shadow Realm' or some such). There was one guy wandering around with a trenchcoat and a Duel Disk, but he was no more of a YGO cosplayer than I am a real pop superstar. :P

I got to meet many of my friends and hang out, so that was cool-- I even got to see some cool things, like "The Myth" and the live-action "Sekachu." I didn't find Gokusen on the schedule though, and I really wanted to see that, especially after [livejournal.com profile] mklutz said it was good. Plus, MatsuJun! I mean, that's just an Auto-WIN! I have 37 pics to upload, so you'll see them soon on my Scrapbook! :)

I went to the Fanfic panel on Saturday ... and I actually ended up running it for a while. It was kind of creepy, because I practically worship Joseph Palmer (which I'm sure he found somewhat creepy), but he is like, the ORIGINAL BNF in the Ranma fanfiction, and STILL ACTIVE! which makes him something of a miracle in the fandom. I liked Krista Perry and many others well enough, but Real Life just ate them all up. Even though the panel was smaller than past years, it still inspired a butt load of conversation, and I think there's so much to cover on Fanfiction, even if not every otaku even knows what it is, let alone does it. I met [livejournal.com profile] dawnsama there, and we went to the AMVs together, but other than that, it was a short, simple panel.

I hope AX will be more exciting.

Oh! I got some of my grades so far... okay, two of them:
Geography - B (to be expected. I bombed my midterm, so only a miracle could have landed me an A)
Japanese - A (YESSSSSSSS! We didn't have grade sheets this year, so I really didn't know how well I was doing. I had a general idea, but YAY!)

To do:
* Finish WDKY24
* Sell Yu-Gi-Oh cards on eBay
* WDKY Calendar )

Er yup. I think that's it. A new [livejournal.com profile] weekly_ygo should be coming out tomorrow.
azurite: (wdky1)
Just as Grandpa and I were coming home, a champagne-colored sedan squealed around the corner of Superior and Wystone. Two guys immediately emerged from said sedan, which came to a rough, immediate stop at the house on the right corner of Superior and Wystone, one block and on the same side of the street as my house. Said guys came out with guns drawn, and said "Freeze! Put your hands up!" to the three or four guys outside of a red pickup truck, driver's side door open. My first thought was "Oh, some college guys are pulling a prank." Seriously. I thought they were just messing around.

But Grandpa didn't think so, and he purposely drove down a further street, taking the long, roundabout way home. When I got home, I wanted to check out what was going on, but when I got out of the car, all I saw was the sedan still pulled next to the pickup, both the doors still open, and I couldn't see any people-- presumably they'd gone into the house.

I think it was a drug bust! :O! Wow.

I've been on a theme song binge lately-- I got two versions of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer theme song (the original, by the Nerf Herders, and the cover, by The Breeders), and the Seasons 1-3 and Season 4 themes of Alias. I want the Season 5 remix of the Alias opening song, but I can't find it! GRR! Can anyone point me in the right direction? I'd like the long version, if possible.

Speaking of Alias, this 2nd to last episode wasn't too bad. I was screaming at the TV the whole time, of course. :D I'm just glad Vaughn's alive. Sark made me laugh (he sounds so sexy when speaking Italian. Or maybe it was the Italian that sounded sexy, and he just looked good doing it), and it looks like the finale will really be the end-all-be-all (without killing everyone off or without making it too ambiguous) with LOTS of old characters returning for a guest appearance. It's a shame they had to kill off Nadia and Renée the way they did, but alas! Such is life in the spy biz.

Better news! I got an A- on my English paper which I stayed up till 2am working on. I'm thrilled! :D I'm not so sure about my latest editorial for journalism, but it's the profile due next Wednesday that I really have to get cracking on. [livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra, are you free to be annoyed this weekend?

I've also managed to finally get Thunderbird links to open in FF, but who knows how long that'll last? I only wish I could use the HTML form for replying to comments... but for whatever lame reason, TB misinterprets them, and LJ thinks there's no POSTID. Feh.

twilighteyes8120 updating her SxA piece "Mixing Business With Pleasure" has got me itching to finish up WDKY-- that and my sudden obsession with trailers. Yes, trailers. So I'm thinking of trying my hand at "AMVs" that aren't really, literally AMVs. I'd do Flash instead, which means people could view them embedded in webpages. I'd like to do one each for WDKY, CO7, and ED, but the question is... what do people want to see trailers of? WDKY's already been out for 2 years now, so people doubtless don't want to see trailers of things that have already happened. Also, the trailers would be entirely musical/textual. I don't have the time/energy to do/find voice clips, let alone appropriate ones, so that's why these trailers would be closer to AMVs. So here comes the fun part:
If you could pick ANY chapter of WDKY (up to 3) to influence a WDKY trailer AMV, which one(s) would you pick? You can pick chapters that have already come out, chapters I've hinted at/mentioned, or random numbers. Assuming the art isn't too hard to pull off, I could (and will) do it.
CO7 and ED are different matters altogether, and those are things I'll be storyboarding on my own time.

Music suggestions are also welcome, but I already have some ideas.

My room smells like corn chips, so I'll light an incense. But if I get another freaky dream, I'm switching incense brands. )

Profile?

Apr. 24th, 2006 08:07 pm
azurite: Part of the "What Doesn't Kill You" series of fanfic icons (wdky (general))
In about 5 weeks or so, I have to turn in a profile article for Journalism, so I have to consider a subject now. The general idea is finding someone that I find interesting, not just someone that has done something incredible, experienced or survived something amazing, or said something controversial.

Someone would be currently doing or acting a certain way based on their past experiences, to the point where others that are not in that same situation would wonder "Why would that person do that?"

Initially, I was leaning toward my Grandpa, with his WW2 Navy stories, but generally speaking, his past doesn't rule or define him so much these days. So then I thought of someone else -a good friend- and I hope she'll forgive me for being presumptous. [livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra, if you have time and are willing to be a bit self-boasting, would you want to help me out?

If that doesn't pan out, I'm open to nominations-- I think people nominating themselves would be a bit arrogant, but I've read so many LJs and am part of so many people's lives, it'd be insanity to try and think of specific events or circumstances that have made my friends and acquaintances such interesting people. So if you know someone (hopefully that I already know as well) that has an interesting life/backstory, and is currently living or acting in an unusual fashion, let me know. I want to consider all my options. :)

In good news, I got a B- on my last feature story, about ACE Mentor, despite the sheer lack of live reporting (that's what lowered my grade) and Dad not really contributing to the story, even if I got the idea from him. I wish I could revise for a better grade, but as I can't, this is good enough for me.

I do have to think of a topic for my editorial, so I was leaning toward something recent, or perhaps controversial (or both... [livejournal.com profile] fandom_wank, anyone? Maybe the whole "fan-published" fanfiction, a.k.a. unauthorized novels?), since I do have "experience" in that area. Other ideas/opinions (I love a good debate) are welcomed! :D

I also updated my LJ with a completely cornball layout from Persnickety Layouts, using kitties a'la Lisa Frank. Do you remember the bright shininess of Lisa Frank, back in your elementary school days? I couldn't resist. I had to bump the header image down to get the nav bar to show, and now the sidebar is still a bit too high up, but it's still mostly readable. That doesn't mean I like the sheer explosion of cute and pink and such, so I'm still open to layout suggestions, pointers to sites or tutorials, or people interested in having me commission them.

And when I get home, I have to try a thing to get my 2wire router to work despite the VPN client. I also have to download a new version of Spybot S&D, because I'm apparently running an ancient version without an interface. It totally screwed up the computer last night, so I had to do a cold reboot this morning, and who knows what happened after that. :P

Ooh, ooh, and I kind of got an idea for WDKY-- but not for 24 (boo). It's for ch. 27-28 or thereabouts, and it involves (Char A) getting into a real fight with (Char B), quite possibly betraying the trust of (C) and (D), and causing (E) to unexpectedly defend both (B) and (D), and (D), who previously was mad at (E) would start to wonder who to trust or believe, what with all the insanity going on (caused by F and Co.)

Heh. Play the guessing game! (It's actually somewhat obvious, if you've been keeping track of my dastardly hints.)

Inept.

Apr. 23rd, 2006 09:46 pm
azurite: (trashcat is not amused)
For all the greatness I've got in getting into Tokiwa, I think I'm lacking in the creativity and/or motivational departments at the moment. I seriously need a new layout for my LiveJournal. I hate using some rehashed one ganked from some site- every time I've found one that I liked (rare) and managed to get it up, something's gone wrong. Too wide, too narrow, this not showing up, that not showing up...

...I wonder if I could commission someone? Maybe for about $10? (I'm flexible, but I'm thinking base price, here. If I come up with colors and graphics...) Any takers? (Mer <-- LAZY!?)

GRR! I like the Smooth Sailing Layout and want to customize it to my liking. I've been rummaging through the few tutorials on [livejournal.com profile] s2smoothsailing and found myself at [livejournal.com profile] the_lj_reboot, but even with resources, there's not much help there for me to "reboot" my LJ into anything spectacular. I don't even have any ideas as to colors, artwork, fonts, etc. for the journal... I've tried about four or five things now, and nothing "hits" me. I've even gone through premade layouts on my comp and thought about adapting them.... but nothing.

Same goes for my websites, which an unusual amount of people have been asking about. I pay $6/mo for the service, I damn well better upgrade everything and make it functional and look good. I should add a counter to all the pages, too. I just wish I could buy bottled inspiration or something.

Well, so Passover wasn't too much of a bomb. Dad and I sorta got along by the end of the week; no more explosive and/or embarrassing fights, but there's still a lot I can't agree with him on, and think he's utterly immature for. Scott really was my godsend; he even helped paint the rec room bathroom when the fumes got to be too much for me. There's still more fixing-up to do-- the air filter in the main hall needs to be replaced, and the mirrors and paintings in the rec room bathroom need to be hung up again. We also need new socket and switch plates, and I need new luggage (Target EMBARK series in Lilac, only $30!) Plus the kitchen's a right mess, and I'd like to move the computer upstairs to my room-- just to test it out. I need to put clothes away, organize my desk, blah blah...

I think I said 3 weeks ago that I'd be done with WDKY24, and it's not there yet. I feel rotten about it, too, but I'm still lacking in inspiration, even if I seriously want to get to the parts BEYOND 24 (AUGH, THE BEST PARTS!) and have the "outline" written for 99.9% of the chapter... of course it's the toughest parts that I keep skipping and not writing. But writers never make promises! :P (Except for implicit ones)

Ah, as for Tokiwa, I'm supposed to go from Mid-September to late-January. Missing Hanukkah/Christmas would be a big bummer to me, but since tuition/air fare/etc. is free, I might be able to swing a plane ride home and back... if I get financial aid. Why would they award me financial aid if a) I won't be at CSUN, and b) Tokiwa's tuition for me is free? Same goes for the Presidential Scholarship... what is the point of having the priority registration, the Matador Bookstore discount, etc. if I go to a school with FREE tuition? That's not to say I won't work on my project for the Scholarship-- better to try and do it IN JAPAN like I originally hoped; maybe some of my professors there can help me better understand female writers of their country. But financial aid is how I survive... even if I would get a stipend IN Japan for teaching conversational English, how would that measly amount help me for nearly 6 whole months? ;_;

Dad never got me a birthday present. :P So I treated myself at Border's, using 2 coupons: I got 15% off Carmen Electra's Vols 4 & 5 of her Aerobic Striptease (Lapdance and Hip Hop. Teh yey!) and 25% off the Back to the Future trilogy. I wanted to get Indiana Jones, but they didn't have it-- not in Action/Adventure, and not in the Boxed Sets area, even though the computer said they had it in stock, and I had the guy (who was a jerk) check the back room. :P

And now... it's Back to Back to the Future. I'm too bored to just keep sitting here. Maybe I'll eat some pie now.

January 2016

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