creativity thoughts

1. Over the weekend, I cleared off a space on my kitchen table, and set up my laptop and desk chair. Suddenly I had a SPACE FOR WRITING. (for logistical reasons, the kitchen table is the best place for this) -- and it was sort of embarrassing how much this increased my interest in writing. Imagine that, I make literal space in my life for something, and I feel more comfortable doing it. I know this observation is as old as Virginia Woolf, but the truth is, I live by myself, because of the real estate market in this area I'm able to own my own space and do whatever I want with it -- so, basically, nobody is keep me from a having a room of my own except me.

2. In a similar vein, I realized with a clarity that I've never had before that I've caught myself in this negative feedback loop where I refuse to give myself time to work on writing -- because, see, I don't deserve to prioritize my creative energies over anything else (like, literally, any other commitment that comes up is by definition more important, because I'm not a serious writer.) And how can I tell that I'm not a serious writer? Because serious writers devote time to it. Which I don't.

2a. I am SO GOOD at self-defeating feedback loops.

3. Over the past year, particularly, I've put energy into thinking as an editor and a critic, and into reading and thinking about what's good or bad about other people's work. (Does this make sense? Slush reading, participating in Hugo voting, talking to and listening to editors, reading about what's good and bad in literature. And while these are all good things, I'm having trouble not only transitioning into creative mode but trusting myself. Currently I'm working on writing for the Shakespeare histories exchange (I know it was due tonight, I did ask for get an extension!) And I find myself worrying about whether I'm doing something wrong, and whether I'm fucking up, and it's getting in the way of telling the story.

4. I feel like I had another thing to say. But I should probably just go write.

5. But maybe I'll give my brain a break and watch some of the Emmys first.

6. Oh, right, Yuletide schedules are up. Nominating is at the end of September! I know I made a list of fandoms earlier but I'm not sure what they all were? I know Hemlock Grove, Max Gladstone's Craft series, and Portlandia* were on there. I'm sure there's something else.

*For the storyline where Fred and Carrie are both dating the same girl.

7. I should sign up for [community profile] femslashex though I'm not busting out with ideas about what to ask for. I forgot to nominate fandoms and I don't think Twilight is on there so I think my perennial Bella/Alice request will need to take a year off.

8. If anybody wants to tell me encouraging things, or remind me of what I wanted to request for Yuletide and/or Femslash, be my guest.

9. You are all great and I adore you.

This entry was originally posted at Comment here or there, I'm easy.

it's all memes all the time around here

But that's about what I have the brainspace for. Posting them, anyway, not always answering them. This is a fic-writing meme from tumblr. Give me a letter & I'll answer! (My fic archive is here or you can check my tags.

A. Describe your comfort zone—a typical you-fic.
B. Is there a trope you’ve yet to try your hand at, but really want to?
C. Is there a trope you wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole?
D. How many fic ideas are you nurturing right now? Care to share one of them?
E. Share one of your strengths.
F. Share one of your weaknesses.
G. Share a snippet from one of your favorite pieces of prose you’ve written and explain why you’re proud of it.
H. Share a snippet from one of your favorite dialogue scenes you’ve written and explain why you’re proud of it.
I. Which fic has been the hardest to write?
J. Which fic has been the easiest to write?
K. Is writing your passion or just a fun hobby?
L. Is there an episode section of canon above all others that inspires you just a little bit more?
M. What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever come across?
N. What’s the worst writing advice you’ve ever come across?
O. If you could choose one of your fics to be filmed, which would you choose?
P. If you only could write one pairing for the rest of your life, which pairing would it be?
Q. Do you write your story from start to finish, or do you write the scenes out of order?
R. Do you use any tools, like worksheets or outlines?
S. Stephen King once said that his muse is a man who lives in the basement. Do you have a muse?
T. Describe your perfect writing conditions.
U. How many times do you usually revise your fic/chapter before posting?
V. Choose a passage from one of your earlier fics and edit it into your current writing style. (Person sending the ask is free to make suggestions).
W. If you were to revise one of your older fics from start to finish, which would it be and why?
X. Have you ever deleted one of your published fics?
Y. What do you look for in a beta?
Z. Do you beta yourself? If so, what kind of beta are you?
AA. How do you feel about collaborations?
AB. Share three of your favorite fic writers and why you like them so much.
AC. If you could write the sequel (or prequel) to any fic out there not written by yourself, which would you choose?
AD. Do you accept prompts?
AE. Do you take liberties with canon or are you very strict about your fic being canon compliant?
AF. How do you feel about smut?
AG. How do you feel about crack?
AH. What are your thoughts on non-con and dub-con?
AI. Would you ever kill off a canon character?
AJ. Which is your favorite site to post fic?
AK. Talk about your current wips.
AL. Talk about a review that made your day.
AM. Do you ever get rude reviews and how do you deal with them?
AN. Write an alternative ending to a fic you've written (specify by title, link or general description].

This entry was originally posted at Comment here or there, I'm easy.

some book-meme answers

Answers from this post. You still have a chance to give me a letter (or guess a song lyric in the other part of the post).

F. Fictional Character You Would Have Dated In High School (asked by cmattg -- I'm much better at these for TV & movie characters -- like, I didn't do a lot of actual dating in high school (though weirdly enough I *did* actually have an experience in 10th grade where 2 boys who road my bus both wanted to be my boyfriend & I had to PICK, but then we didn't actually go out or anything because neither of us had cars, I don't think I've ever told that story before --) , but I can imagine myself dating the teenage version of basically any male Aaron Sorkin character? Which is why it might be good I didn't date? But if I have to fall back on 'Book characters I crushed on in high school: Mr. Darcy. Or Logan from the baby-sitters' club. Not that I was still reading BSC books in HS or that there was anything notable about Logan but just that he fit my vaguely nonthreatening idea of what kind of boy would go out with an awkward nerdy girl.

G. Glad You Gave This Book A Chance, asked by bessiemaemucho. Weirdly, Twilight, because it would have been easy to live in eternal contempt of it but it turned out that being able to talk about how weird it actually is (even weirder than you think) has been an enriching experience.

I. Important Moments of Your Reading Life: (also bessiemaemucho) to finish The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe by myself because my mom was reading too slow (I must have been an exasperating kid --); holing up in the room with my older brother to read out loud to him (books I remember doing this with were Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the novelization of The Wrath of Khan, the latter leading my grandmother to complain that we were weird kids b/c we liked to stay inside and read instead of playing out like healthy, normal kids & she didn't even know it was a Star Trek novel with cusses in it; falling in love with Pride & Prejudice over 8th grade spring break when my mom dragged me to some meeting & I had to wait in the other room and she handed me this OLD beaten up paperback to keep me from complaining and by the time the meeting was over I was hooked; dropping in to a comic book shop to get the issues of Whedon's Astonishing X-Men that hadn't been collected yet & figuring I'd probably never have reason to buy single issues of comics again....

M. Major Book Hangover Because Of (asked by [personal profile] cinco)
I remember spending a lot of time chewing over the ending of Dennis Lehane's "Mystic River," to the extent, even though I've reread it, I don't have straight what really happened versus what I worked out in my head SHOULD have happened. I'm not a book hangover person in general, though, I tend to move on pretty quickly to the next thing and it take a while to realize whether something is going to stick with me.

P. Preferred Place to Read (asked by [personal profile] yhlee)
Platonically, in bed, but if I try to do it during the day I fall asleep, and at night I stay up longer than I should. By default I do a lot sitting on my couch, but since I'm an audiobook person, "In the car" or "on a walk" also works.

Q. Quote From A Book That Inspires You/Gives You Feels (asked by [personal profile] coyotegestalt
From Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold: "The one thing you can't trade for your heart's desire is your heart." Which I take to mean that it's possible to compromise yourself so badly in order to reach a goal that you're no longer the person who set that goal in the first place. (And if you're lucky and have good role models, you'll be able to see that point of no return in time to avoid going there, the way Miles Vorkosigan does here.)

T. Three Of Your All-Time Favorite Books (asked by [personal profile] kindkit)
A dangerous question if I think about it too long so I'll just go with Pride & Prejudice, King Lear, and Confederates in the Attic.

W. Worst Bookish Habit (asked by [personal profile] lunabee34). Well I've reconciled to buying more books than I'll ever read, and to getting distracted and not finishing ones I've started (though I've gotten much better about this since I started using goodreads) but it would be nice if I could stop putting physical books aside and forgetting what I did with them.

X. Marks The Spot (Start On Your Bookshelf And Count to the 27th Book (asked by harmonyangel) Using the bookshelf I can see from where I'm lying now, that's A Firing Offense by George P. Pelecanos, which is sort of a gonzo crime novel about an appliance salesman who stumbles onto a crime and eventually more or less solves it but most of the book is just him and his buddies taking drugs and talking about music. The author has gone on to write lots of *socially important* fiction and I get a vibe from comment he's made that he's vaguely embarrassed this book exists but it's one of those I picked up at just the right time & I'm very fond of it, though it might be a not-great idea to try and re-read.

Z. ZZZ-Snatcher (last book that kept you up WAY late) (asked by [personal profile] seta_suzume) I think the implication here is that this would be a GOOD book I couldn't bear to put down but I'm more likely to stay up with a book if I'm just ready to be DONE with it, so that was Children of the Revolution by Peter Robinson which I really don't recommend on any level.

This entry was originally posted at Comment here or there, I'm easy.


memes, for books & music

carrie brownstein
I. First, from various places -- give me a letter & I'll answer the corresponding question:

A. Author You’ve Read The Most Books From
B. Best Sequel Ever
C. Currently Reading
D. Drink of Choice While Reading
E. E-Reader or Physical Books
F. Fictional Character You Would Have Dated In High School
G. Glad You Gave This Book A Chance
H. Hidden Gem Book
I. Important Moments of Your Reading Life
J. Just Finished
K. Kinds of Books You Won’t Read
L. Longest Book You’ve Read
M. Major Book Hangover Because Of
N. Number of Bookcases You Own
O. One Book That You Have Read Multiple Times
P. Preferred Place to Read
Q. Quote From A Book That Inspires You/Gives You Feels
R. Reading Regret
S. Series You Started and Need to Finish
T. Three Of Your All-Time Favorite Books
U. Unapologetic Fangirl For
W. Worst Bookish Habit
V. Very Excited For This Release More Than Any Other
X. Marks The Spot (Start On Your Bookshelf And Count to the 27th Book)
Y. Your Latest Book Purchase
Z. ZZZ-Snatcher (last book that kept you up WAY late)

II. Also/instead, I did the ipod oracle meme, just for lolz. Twenty first lines, mostly random*, name the song & artist. And if you feel inclined, tell me something about your association with the song/artist/lyric -- in fact, you can do the last part whether you know any of the songs or not. Pick a lyric and make something up about it.**

1. You won't admit you love me/ and so/ how am I ever/ to know? 'Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps' by CAKE, ID's by [personal profile] lilacsigil and mireille719
2. Businessmen, they drink my blood/ like the kids in art school said they would
3. I'm gonna clear my head/I'm gonna drink that sun "Get out the Map," the Indigo Girls. [personal profile] cinco & pocky_slash.
4. I had a dream last night/I dreamt that I was swimming
5. Gather jewels from graveyards/ when I get home, bury them again
6. Your visions and your feelings/ your bad dreams and intuitions/ are about as much use to me right now/ as a brand new set of golf clubs
7. Forgive me someone for I have sinned/ and I know not where I should begin "If Ever I Stray" by Frank Turner, identified by harmonyangel
8. There's a perfect explanation for the shit that I've been in/ soon as I find out I'll let you know
9. The world is on fire/ and no one could save me but you "Wicked Game" by Chris Isaak, identified by [personal profile] kindkit and seta_suzume
10. Last night I stood on your doorstep/ trying' to figure out what went wrong "Long Walk Home" by Bruce Springsteen, identified by harmonyangel
11. I've had good times/ with some bad guys
12. We walked on the beach beside that old hotel/ they're tearing it down now but it's just as well "This is the Time," Billy Joel, identified by cmattg
13. Rain - falls - hard - burns - dry "Midnight Radio," from Hedwig & the Angry Inch (John Cameron Mitchell in this case), identified by bessiemaemucho
14. They hung a sign up in our town/ "If you live it up you won't live it down"
15. Well, you wish upon a star/ that turns into a plane
16. Stand up straight at the foot of your love/ I lift my shirt up "Bloodbuzz Ohio" by The National, ID'ed by [personal profile] lilacsigil
17. I can't say I mind you dancing/ It's quite impressive in those shoes
18. Drove downtown in the rain/ 9:30 on a Tuesday night "Brian Wilson" by barenaked ladies, ID'd by [personal profile] lunabee34
19. My love, I am the speed of sound "This Tornado Loves You" by Neko Case, id'd by seta_suzume
20. Sat down with a poker face/ snake eyes and your pillowcase

*This time I limited to songs in my own collection that *I* could actually identify from first lines, which doesn't mean it's easier but more me-like. Also, skipped duplicate artists.
**Look, I'm just seeking silly distraction via the internet :P

This entry was originally posted at Comment here or there, I'm easy.


Reading Wednesday, 8/6/14

First of all, yesterday was my birthday, and I didn't really do much of anything special but I heard from a lot of friends that they were thinking of me (a lot of them on Facebook or by text these days, but that totally counts) and it was generally nice. This past weekend I gave myself a birthday treat of (1) on Saturday, I got a manicure and I also got my hair done (cut and highlighted) which really costs more money that I should spend on my hair, but it feels nice and it's pretty and there are dumber things I could do with my money, probably? Then on Sunday I gave myself permission to just stay home and do whatever the hell I wanted and not feel guilty about it. It's interesting to see what you do when you give yourself that permission? I reread Annihilation (which is the Marvel comics series that starts the epic love affair friendship of Peter Quill and Richard Rider, and I thought about them and sighed a lot. Plus I played some Candy Crush and (surprisingly enough) did a load of laundry and dishes as well.

Now as for reading:

• What are you currently reading?

I need to power through While Beauty Slept in time for book club -- it's an okay book but I don't know if it would be interesting enough for me to keep going if it weren't for the commitment. I would honestly rather be steaming through Vanity Fair, which I've read ten chapters into and am finding quite amusing. Becky Sharp is a delight, as promised, though I'm possibly getting more joy out of Thackeray's chatty and dreadfully wry narrator.

I'm also listening to Ptolemy's Gate, the third book in Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus series, which continues to be a delight.

• What did you recently finish reading?

First of all, Guardians of the Galaxy has me back in the mood for fanfic for the first time in a while (oh, reading fic is the other thing I do when I promise myself I can do whatever I want without scolding myself for what I should be doing.) There's been some nice Gamora/Nebula fic that's come out of the movie, but in the spirit of the aforementioned epic love affair between Peter Quill and Richard Rider (the latter of whom I *might* have lamented a few times does not show up in the movie), I found a light too bright to see, a comicverse fic that has a Gamora/Rider/Quill threesome. If you haven't read the comics but liked movie!Gamora, I rec this anyway (it's all in her POV and nicely done), and if you have read the comics, I promise you need this in your life.

Otherwise, I finished The Golem's Eye by Jonathan Stroud, and my reread of Annihilation (the main series by Keith Giffen & Andrea Vitti, which, confusingly, I think is actually Book Three of the Annihilation trades; thanks to Marvel Unlimited for having their events nicely sorted. Also, QuillRider forever, if only because it's both awesome and terrible as a ship name.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

MOAR comics with Quill & Rider in them. And Thackeray too, I suppose.

This entry was originally posted at Comment here or there, I'm easy.

WIP (FMA) because what the heck

roy fire
Just to remind myself that I do still write some things. I realistically can't describe this as a work-in-progress right now but because I go back & find bits I like, so...have some Roy Mustang & Maes Hughes suggestively playing soccer at each other.

Read more...Collapse )

mini-commentary meme

I offered this before I went away for (last) weekend, so I figured I should answer it. (Still open if you want to ask for a mini-commentary.)

1. [personal profile] yhlee requested a snippet from False Colours (ASOIAF). Read more...Collapse )

2. scribble_myname requested Solutions for Better Living Read more...Collapse )

3. ...and also Common Cause (movieverse Mystique + Natasha)Read more...Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at Comment here or there, I'm easy.


Guardians of the Galaxy

marvelgirl, jeanmarvel
I saw Guardians of the Galaxy yesterday with family, and it was definitely a fun movie to see with friends if you're expecting something kind of silly. There were honestly a couple moments I laughed so hard I had a coughing fit, and as far as seeing a summer movie with friends, that's not nothing.

I do have some frustrations with it, and -- I don't want to say I'm squee-harshing, because I suspect the stuff I liked was stuff most people liked. And I'm also (for this post) mostly veering away from race-and-gender based critiques, of which I think there are definitely ones to be made (in regard both to casting/choice of characters used, and the execution of the story itself). Not that these are unimportant but because I think the flaws are being well-discussed elsewhere, and frankly are not very subtle.

The kind of thing that I'm chewing over is mostly from a point of view of craft (a perspective that makes me think I'm being the kind of person who is thinking too much about a silly movie) and of overly precious comics canon nitpicking (which is the kind of response I usually roll my eyes at and it's weird that I'm doing it over Guardians of the Galaxy of all things).

So anyway, cut for unimportant ramblings + some spoilersCollapse )

In any case, I really like this fic by [personal profile] inlovewithnight, about Gamora and Groot. Rootsong.

This entry was originally posted at Comment here or there, I'm easy.

Reading Post, 7/31/14

It's not Wednesday but it's the end of the month so I figured I should get another of these updates in. I also have some memes to answer and a lovely (last) weekend to update about, but one thing at a time.

• What are you currently reading?

I was a bit bogged down in multiple good but long-and-dense books so I asked for some fun/fast rec to get me out of a rut. A friend suggested the Bartimaeus trilogy, a middle grade (I think? I'm not very good at these categories) series by Jonathan Stroud, which turned out to be just the thing. Right now I'm in the middle of the second book, The Golem's Eye, which improves on the first book (which I quite enjoyed) by adding a smart, streetwise female protagonist to the mix (who is named Kitty but who I'm having fun picturing as Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones). The premise is a pretty severely AU version of modern England, where wizards run the government, by forcing djinn and other spirits to do their bidding. It feels like sort of a mashup of Harry Potter with Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, with a touch of modern dystopia, and one of the main POV characters is a djinni who has been summoned against his will and is not very happy about it. So this is a lot of fun as well as being very smart and subversive in an interesting way. (The first book in the series is The Amulet of Samarkand).

I've also started While Beauty Slept by Elizabeth Blackwell, for my book club. This is a reimagining of Sleeping Beauty as a sort of historical romance (in the old fashioned sense, not the 'love story' sense of the term.) The narrator is a ladies' maid in the royal household and while the start is pretty grim (miserable childhood and plague and deaths in the family), the narrator has now made it to the royal court, and I'm enjoying it. I'm not sure how the fairy tale elements will be incorporated but I'm interested to find out.

Also, I bought a month's trial of the Marvel Unlimited app, which gives access to a lot of back issues and it doesn't work great on my laptop, but it's pretty good on my phone. So I've been scrolling around looking at various things, and have settled into the Lee/Kirby Captain America run (which starts in 1968 at issue 100 although issues 1-99 are NOT the cap solo title). So I'm not really READING these per se, but looking at the pages and reading the speech bubbles that look interesting (so far mostly when Steve talks to Fury or to Sharon; I mostly skip the dialogue on the villain-only pages altogether.) So I'm not sure which parts of this I'm going to cover but this is fun so far. If there are any back runs you think I should check out, let me know; there's a lot of stuff missing (like I was hoping for the issues I'm missing in the Simonson run on X-Factor, but no luck). Cap seems to be pretty well covered, though, which is nice.

• What did you recently finish reading?

As I mentioned above, The Amulet of Samarkand kept me entertained during my road trip last weekend.

On the other hand, I picked up Children of the Revolution by Peter Robinson know when there's a series author whose work you remember enjoying 10 or 15 years ago, and then you happen on a description of his most recent book and think, "Oh that sounds interesting," and you pick it up even though you've missed the last 6 or 7 books in the series. Only now it's 2014, and the author is trying to act like he knows stuff about the Internet and having appallingly inaccurate and outdated views about sexual harassment on college campuses and you keep reading against your better judgment in the hopes that it will get better and...yeah, not so much. This book was really bad, and it mostly made me want to reread Reginald Hill, who covered a lot of the same ground (Yorkshire cops and what happens to campus radicals when they grow up, not inaccurate opinion about campus harasment, thank God; I can't even imagine what Ellie Pascoe would have to say about that) and did it with a lot more nuance and humanity.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

I'll try to get back to finishing some of those thick, complicated books (like Hild and A Stranger in Olondria). Plus I'm about ready to tackle Vanity Fair. And of course the third Bartimaeus book. And comic.

This entry was originally posted at Comment here or there, I'm easy.


carrie brownstein
I'm going to be be AFK all weekend (probably even AF-smartphone for most of it) but if anybody wants to reply to this meme, I'll answer when I get home. :)

In any case, see you on the flip side!

Pick any paragraph or any passage less than 500 words [or more if you really feel like it] from any fanfic I've written and comment to this post with that selection. I will then give you a DVD commentary on that snippet of what I was thinking when I wrote it, why I wrote it, what's going on in the characters' heads, why I chose certain words, what this moment means in the context of the fic, and anything else you'd expect to find on a DVD commentary track. [Link to AO3 account here]

This entry was originally posted at Comment here or there, I'm easy.



prufrock, before he got famous

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