morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
Fandom to-do list, now until the end of March:

  • Beta a <2k fic for a person who contacted me during Yuletide

  • Write NYR story #1

  • Write NYR story #2

  • Write NYR story #3

  • Do Yuletide admin thing #1

  • Do Yuletide admin thing #2

  • Do Yuletide admin thing #3

  • Beta a story from R's fairy tale series (I assume)

  • Beta a Big Bang story for NM

  • Comment on fics! Average 2/day in January, 1/day in February and March

  • Comment on my friends' journal entries! Goodness gracious, self

  • DON'T sign up to any fests or exchanges

  • DON'T browse ffa during work (even in coffee breaks! Too soothing and more-ish. Well, on a good day)

  • Publish Jukebox's 2016 schedule and tweaked rules for comment

  • Get Jukebox nominations underway (depending on schedule)

  • Post about something fannish in this journal

  • Write 2 pinch hits or treats for ChocolateBox

  • Write a pinch hit or treat for something else (maybe)

  • Beta something else (probably)



It's been a while since I posted about stuff I've written. Now, the idea of a round-up post, ideally covering everything I wrote between 2014 and 2015, is daunting.

However, every time I think about doing a round-up post, I think of one particular story I want to talk about. So, what the heck, I'll talk about that one.


A Dance in Glass Shoes (4163 words) by Morbane
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Cinderella (Fairy Tale)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Cinderella (Fairy Tales), Stepmother (Cinderella - Fairy Tale), Stepsister(s) (Cinderella - Fairy Tale)
Additional Tags: Fae & Fairies, Changelings, Emotional neglect, Harm to Children, Parent-Child Relationship, Bad Parenting, treat-fic, Constructive Criticism Welcome
Summary: Carlotta's new husband's daughter was not an easy child to love.


I wrote this story as part of Rosencrantz's delightful Once Upon A Fic fanfiction exchange, which had its first run last year and will run again this year - nominations start on the 24th of January. This is a gift exchange based on responses to fairy tales, myths, and lore from around the world. It was one of the nicest exchanges I took part in last year, with a good-sized crowd, unusually low default rates, a wide variety of prompts and works, and enthusiastic commenting.

I wrote this story as a treat, in the very last few days before reveals. I loved the prompt, which went:

I'm extremely interested in an aversion of the typical abusive relationship between Cinderella and her stepfamily -- what if it was actually a good one, or antagonistic with good reason behind it? (What if Cinderella's secretly the terrible one and her stepfamily is protecting themselves?) I'd love to see a retelling of the story that plays with those dynamics, which most adaptations take for granted.

When I first saw the prompt, my eyes lit up and I thought of my earlier Cinderella BDSM idea (Cinderella is a lifestyle sub, the "stepfamily" are not actually related, their dynamic is fully consensual, then she has a messy but adult breakup with her dommes). However, reading the prompter's letter, I saw that BDSM was one of their few DNWs. Still, it's a great prompt... so I finally thought of something else.

I'm really proud of this story. I'm proud of how I remixed the fairy tale elements, I'm proud of the family dynamics, and there are some things that could benefit from a further polish (the narrative style is precious; the pacing isn't great), but I feel I nailed the ending.


Ironically enough for a fairy tale retelling, this is a story about how intent is not magic, and how forgiveness and reconciliation do not always make for the best or most hopeful ending, even when all parties involved have their points of sympathy. I love both my Cinderella and my stepmother figure in this story, though they do not love each other, and the end of the story is not the end of their anger, and that's okay.

Rosencrantz and NightsMistress both helped a lot with this story, by encouraging me through finishing it and by beta suggestions.
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
LIFE NOTES

So: my recent parental visit actually went really well. I had some good chats with my mother. My father and I had an honourable three victories each at chess. The day before Dad's birthday, I bought a small selection of gourmet food items for him for his birthday. Then I stayed up until 3am with my laptop at the kitchen table, beta-ing a Yuletide fic, and left the birthday food out for him, with a note. Then slept until 10am. This was received favourably.

I got back from Auckland, and on Monday 7th, heard from the property manager that we could either renew our lease at this house for a year, or leave. Nothing in between. Damn.

However, we have had an immense stroke of luck (aided by Joel's Google-fu), and have already managed to secure a 1-bedroom apartment. We have the keys.

It's literally over the back fence.

As in, our future landlord called our present landlady, who had agreed to act as our reference, and had a nice chat to her about their mutual fence and whether maybe he should make a gate in it given that his tenants always use OUR driveway to move in and out of his property. (They always, politely, ask. But it's totally reasonable. WE'RE up a vehicle-accessible slope. THEY'RE up 100+ stairs.)

Because it's a 1-bedroom flat, and we've lived in a 3-bedroom flat with a huge living space for the last few years, we may need to call in local Tetris consultants to figure out how to manage our furniture, but we'll make do. Easiest move ever!


FANDOM NOTES

Yuletide has been good. I've seen both _coal and f-fa complain about the lack of drama, and I may have punched the air a few times, because that means the mod team is doing our job well, boooooo-yah. (Sorry, seekingferret.) Not that everyone's happy, and there are a few things I need to help follow up on, but in an undertaking this large, there'll always be something to mitigate, mediate, or smooth over.

I only wrote one story this year - my assignment. Never doing that again. Treats or bust. I have a lovely recipient comment now, but the period without it reminded me how much nicer it is to have eggs in different baskets. The reward for good modding is the lack of feedback. The reward for the prolific writing of fic is multiple avenues of feedback. I like feedback. Therefore it is sensible for me to put energy into goals with both long-term and short-term payoff.

Speaking of payoff, though, I got lovely gifts:

The Year of Being Human (8297 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Youkai Ningen Bem (TV 2011)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Bela/Koharu Ogata
Characters: Bela (Youkai Ningen Bem), Bem (Youkai Ningen Bem), Belo (Youkai Ningen Bem), Ogata Koharu, Machimura Hidemi, Ogata Hiroyasu
Additional Tags: Post-Canon
Summary:

Professor Ogata has a plan to turn the yokai human. While he's experimenting, Koharu finds herself spending time with Bela, teaching her how to be human -- and learning herself.



This is beautifully and carefully written. I listed little details among my likes; this fic has them in spades, from the smallest set-up of a scene to causes of bonding between Bela and Koharu. These are two fascinating, fully-fleshed-out women, and the author does both justice. Lovely.


A Viewtiful Waste (1052 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Derkholm Series - Diana Wynne Jones
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Querida (Derkholm), Elda (Derkholm), Mara (Derkholm)
Additional Tags: Missing Scene, Geographical abuse
Summary:

Look, Querida liked the view and didn't need any griffins coming along to mess it up. Unless it was Callette. (It wasn't Callette.)



This is ADORABLE and exactly the canon-gap-filler I asked for. Angry teenage sulks! Distant parental pragmatism! Phlegmatic angry-sorceress perspective! Everyone in this story is sympathetic and funny and larger than life.
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
Lately I've been noticing stress feedback in myself: those symptoms that I have learned to identify as signs of stress even when I don't feel stressed. I've been repeating to myself the importance of being kind. Today, walking home from work, I stopped in the Rose Gardens to finish the book I'd been reading. The staff at the nearby cafe started blasting some loud music. I got up, flapped my hands at them in irritation (not quite a rude gesture, but not gracious, either), and went to find another spot. Fifteen minutes later, I realised that in changing spots, I'd left my phone behind. That wouldn't have happened, I told myself, if you hadn't chosen to take umbrage at the music. Be kind. Be kind.

Outside my window, the flag above Parliament flies at half mast. Kindness is especially important.


One form of stress feedback, I suspect, is the desire to make emotional journal posts.

Therefore: I just had an epiphany about something I was planning to do, a conversation I was planning to have with someone. The epiphany was that although I'd clothed it in another guise, I was planning to do something that would hurt me, because I thought it was good for them, and because I thought their good was my responsibility.

... Well, let's avoid that trap. For once.


ETA:
We're house hunting. Many ups and downs - very informative.
This is within our budget. But do I really want a house AND an abandoned shoe factory?
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
Thank you for reading, whether out of curiosity or because you're considering writing for me.

I've written a lot below, but if you want more, there are also many previous entries on LJ or DW tagged with "dear writer" or "Yuletide" or similar.

Take what's helpful: ignore the rest.

DNWs: Please don't write any scenes with hand injuries, and please don't make memory loss or substance abuse a focus of the story. If the canon already has some kind of amnesia, or some kind of unsafe/dependent use of addictive or mind-altering substances, you can allude to it or use it in similar ways, but I'd still rather it wasn't a major plot point of your fic.

I love: first person, second person, third person; present tense; past tense; future tense; unusual formats such as epistolary fic or fic written like a series of "scrapbooked" news articles; more ordinary forms of narrative. I love strong platonic relationships such as mentor & student, sibling & sibling, teammate & teammate - friendly or hostile or anything else. I also ship a few things, and enjoy crack!ships.

I love stories about loyalty and competence. I love worldbuilding and welcome original characters. I love stories about identity shenanigans. I love stories that are enriched with little details about a setting and time period. I love dragons, trains, dark fairies, cities, dramatic weather, unexpected meetings. I love functional and respectful romantic or platonic relationships, but I also enjoy really screwed-up relationships, and dubcon and noncon. (And while we're on the porn train, I particularly like touch starvation, xeno, telepathy, and awkward sex.) Any gender combination OK; threesomes+ welcome.

I also frequently adore stories that do not have any of these things. I trust you.


Fandoms and prompts )

This year, I'm particularly open to crossovers, either between my requested fandoms, or between one of them & some other small fandom. My previous letters and fics will give you some idea of what fandoms I know, and I will also shortly put up a list of the fandoms I'm offering to beta this year.

A note about length: my ideal reading length is anywhere between 200 and 20,000 words. If you're my assigned writer and you give me 1k words exactly, great. And really, anything over that is up to you. But: if you have a story for me that balloons to a great length, I'll be daunted as well as impressed when I open it. It will also take me longer to comment than I'd like.

As for the lower limit suggestion: obviously, if you want to write me a drabble, my first thought is "yay, a story, for me, by someone who is interested in one of these small fandoms, AND who was in no way obliged to write me a story." (Thank you, past writers! ♥) But I tend to prefer slightly longer pieces - so some other recipient might appreciate your gesture more. Up to you. Either way, thank you.

And since it's the end of the letter, thank you again. I hope you have fun this Yuletide.
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
I know I haven't been around, and this isn't much of an update. I'm seizing a moment in which I feel like I have something short but useful to say. Otherwise, it feels too hard. I feel as though if I'm going to write an update, I should write an essay or review a book or catch everyone up on my life. [Or I should be beta-ing a fic or editing a fic or writing a fic or writing some other fandom thing.] I keep feeling as though those are the only posts worth making, and yet I don't mark the time aside for them.

I feel really lucky and grateful in my life right now. I took a week off work for a fandom project, helping to sort the Yuletide tag set. We're on schedule, and tomorrow I'm back at work. I feel happy that I got to spend a week contributing to something fun and creative and big, and I also feel good about going back to work. (And I am so grateful that I can think about my job and go, yeah, that thing I do, that's positive, I am competent.) I will be a useful person on Monday morning. (Get up early, answer Yulequestions... go to work, publish law.) Tuesday will also mark six months in this job.

I had a meeting at my ongoing/secondary job on Thursday. It was good to spend two hours in the company of my boss & M "The Whirlwind", who is currently obsessed with trains. All these crazy projects they want to set in motion. Spending time with them, I feel as though anything is possible. It's scary because it drives me to want to learn all the things, do all the things - and I know that's impossible. I'm tugged in so many directions. I have to find a way to do that job that acknowledges that soaring call of BE EVERYTHING, and yet doesn't turn me into a paralysed mess when I'm actually sitting at my computer. One step at a time. Next step. I have tasks for that job I should complete tonight. I should actually quit that job, but moments like Thursday make me not want to, and I'm also caught in the trap of wishing I could repay my boss for her limitless gifts.

I have tasks to complete after the guests leave, that is. Sunday, lately, is Person of Interest night - we're just starting Season 3 - and meat and vegetables are currently roasting in the oven. Paul's already here, the Alexi will turn up soon, and I need to decide what kind of potato salad I'm making.

I also need to do a Yuletide task, and email my dad.

I wanted to mention last weekend. Last weekend was great! Here's what my Saturday looked like:

-9:15am - get on a bus to Seatoun
-10:am - get/together, the mini Wellington slash convention. Slash pictionary and a good group for general discussion and fandom promos! A whole ROOM of people who know what Yuletide is!
-4:45pm - left the con in order to meet my good friend Susy at the airport (Susy is a teacher; it's school holidays; she had a few day off, so she came down to visit me. "There is tag sorting! I will be home, but I will be staring at my computer a lot." / "That's okay, I need to write up my kids' Running Records.")
-6pm - Susy and I taxi home, dump our bags, and go down to have dinner in the suburb north of us with Joel
-7:15pm - our meal barely arrives in time; I have to get a taxi up to Vic for Sam's choir concert, get out of the taxi, and run
-7:30pm - Sam's choir concert, reinterpretations of Bowie & Fleetwood Mac. It was great, and Sam's solo was great, everything was great
-10:00pm - Yuletide nominations close [I think I got home at 10:04]
-10:15pm - YULETIDE TAGMODS ASSEMBLE
-11:15pm - I leave people happily tag sorting and go to bed. Like a sensible person.

Joel and I have been going to open homes - two today. I fell a little bit in love with one I saw today. Perfect garden/outside area. Good spaces. It had a loft bedroom!! Say the word 'mezzanine' and I'm there. I have a strange attraction to halfway spaces, tiny rooms, corners and nooks. This one was absolutely drenched in sunlight. However, the main bedroom would be a tight squeeze for our king-size bed, and the discolouration of the carpet & the time period in which the house was built are worrying factors - might be some underlying structural issues, especially leakiness.

All right. Back to Yuletide...
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
Things that prevent me from writing journal updates:

-oh, I could use the time to email someone!
-oh, I could use the time to write fic!
-oh, I'd better set some time aside to make a proper, serious, blog-post-like update!
-oh, there's something else I promised someone I'd do! (beta a fic, comment on fic, read something, do a household chore, sort AO3 tags).

in short: I am happy, busy, in good health, guilty at lapsed commitments, in a great phase at work (they let me edit law), excited for Yuletide.

sorry/ sending love.

I like saying "yes" to things.
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
-Structural beta of fic #1 for Crossovering - DONE
-General beta of fic #2 for Crossovering - DONE
-Structural beta of fic #1 for Exchange at Fic Corner - DONE
-General (harsh) beta of fic #2 for Exchange at Fic Corner - DONE
-Thorough edit & expansion of White Dwarf Rabbit Hole assignment - half-DONE
-Treat #1 for WDRH (has plot + first 300 words) - DONE
-Treat #2 for WDRH (only a concept atm) - NOPE, ran out of time
-Edit my friend's text for a puzzle - NOPE, miscommunication as to due date, but all good
-Assignment for Exchange at Fic Corner (done canon review, have a plot, just need to make words happen)
-Assignment for Crossovering (done partial canon review, clinging on to ambitious plot with tooth and nails) - y/n? Shelved ambitious idea, but I did complete a fic.
-Treat for Crossovering (this is even more ambitious, oops) - NOPE, too ambitious for the time available, shelved
-Final revisions to Between Blue and Gray

-ETA: pinch hit for a further exchange (draft) - DONE
-ETA: beta draft #2 of the fic I harsh-reviewed earlier
-ETA: beta another fic
-ETA: beta another fic

And generally
-comment more
-comment on Jukebox, do a nice big commenting binge SOON - DONE, up to 37/62 fics
-Yuletide prep! - DONE some, ONGOING

ETA: NO OPEN AO3 ASSIGNMENTS, omg, first time since February!
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
This is a big deal for me. I love writing for exchanges but I struggle with long projects and nebulous deadlines. Yay for me! Yay for everyone who helped or encouraged.

Between Blue and Gray (21742 words) by Morbane
Chapters: 4/4
Fandom: Black Jewels - Anne Bishop
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Surreal SaDiablo, Wilhelmina Benedict
Additional Tags: Constructive Criticism Welcome, Minor Violence, Magic, Vigilantism, Misunderstandings, Female Friendship, Art, Road Trips
Summary:

Surreal and Wilhelmina have similar doubts about settling in the Shadow Realm.

[doubts that they try to settle with a jaunt to Amdarh, which does and does not go as a trip the city should go. There are goats, fights, murder, and a play.]

See chapters 2 and 3 for art by Desiderii (also here - with way better captions :D). Desiderii has also created a mix to accompany the fic.



And here's my bragging post on the Finish Your Sh**: Work in Progress Big Bang community.

I only recently saw the art Desiderii made to accompany the story. I'm really excited about that too. I listened to half of the mix last night but I was pretty zonked so I'll have to listen to the rest tonight.


My stories are often based on an emotional arc rather than plotty events. It's usually some evolution of "is this okay...? Yes, here is why this can be okay." This time, I was trying to write an action plot as well. Those two arcs didn't quite work together and I also had difficulty with the pacing because the story is longer than any I have written before. So I hope I have learned a lot from writing this.

(Also, I am amused at how AGGRESSIVELY gen this story is. Yeah, okay, so Surreal mentions Falonar in chapter 1; but I don't think there's a mention of any romantic or sexual relationship in the remaining 20,000 words. Unless you count Surreal pointing out that she used to be a really expensive courtesan.)


Also, now I can generally babble about writing for exchanges. I set myself a condition that I was not allowed to write long, excited aftermath-y posts about exchanges until I finished this story. That is why there was no roundup post about Yuletide 2014. Maybe I'll write one soon. You know, in time for next Yuletide.
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
EDIT: I just realised I linked this letter in my Yuletide sign-up instead of my actual letter. Actual letter is presently locked. Really sorry, writer! Please check my 'dear writer' tag in the next 24 hours.

Thank you for reading, writer or potential writer!

(This is my letter for the Crossovering exchange.)

Letter )
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
First: the main deadline for the Night on Fic Mountain challenge has just passed, and there are new & recent pinch hits on the LJ and DW communities. It's a very exciting time! Please consider investigating these if you have any time on your hands.

Meanwhile, so as not to be all work and no play, a meme from Naraht and Hokuto.

Ten things that you think are common in your fic
1. Worldbuilding
2. Crossovers
3. Stories based on a minor emotional arc of someone coming to a realisation, usually that things are less scary than they thought they were
4. Fairies
5. Basically competent people
6. Gender balance (I think I lean more towards female characters than male, but not that far.)
7. Nice people
8. Characters who are sympathetic from their own perspective, whether or not they're nice people
9. Dubcon
10. Unexpected darkness

Ten things you think are uncommon in your fic although commonly found in fic in general
1. Porn
2. Plot
3. AUs - whether exciting or mundane. Occasionally I write canon divergence.
4. Rom-com tropes. Very little of meet-cute, jealousy, misunderstandings, wacky coincidences, etc.
5. Villains
6. Saints
7. Tropey plots (I am pretty low on sex pollen, huddling for warmth, wingfic, etc)
8. Woobification & whump
9. Kids & kidfic
10. Hurt/comfort

Ten things you wish were more true of your fic
1. I wish I had more reference to real world events and cultures, whether current or past. For all that I love worldbuilding, research daunts me.
2. Tropes! They look like fun. I should try more. Especially identity porn, and wingfic, and chance meetings turning into key relationships.
3. AUs! They also look like fun.
4. I would love to write better plots and work my way up to casefic.
5. I'd like to figure out how to write unhappy & tragic stories
6. More characters who genuinely change, as people, over the course of a story
7. More sex - not necessarily porn, but as part of ordinary people's relationships, occasionally awkward or funny
8. Glorious, unashamed villains. Or just jerks.
9. I wish I drew on more genres - spy stories, Westerns, travel stories
10. I wish I wrote faster.
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
In the last 24 hours there were more cat shenanigans and also I got invited to an IRL writers group, which I have Feelings about, but for now it seems important to mention that:

-Crossovering nominations are ending soon. Here is the community, and here is the tag set. Crossovering is a crossovers-focused fanfic exchange. I loved taking part in Crossovering last year. The writing assignment I received was both generous and open, and a stretch for what I felt I could write. You nominate fandoms you hope to see represented - they may not be - acceptance depends on more than one vote for each. That favours larger fandoms, but even as a small-fandoms person, I loved it. The mods were also very diligent about getting my pinch hit covered, when I was the last person in the exchange without a fic, and I loved the treats I received in the end.

-Exchange at Fic Corner nominations have ended and sign-ups will begin after the weekend's over. The tag set is here. Exchange at Fic Corner is a fanfic exchange for children's and Young Adult canons. I enjoyed it in both years it ran - in 2013, I got a heroically dedicated pinch hit, and in 2014 my assigned writer was kind enough to write me a main fic AND a treat. There ought to be something you recognise here. Consider participating.
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
First: the Jukebox collection is open, and I encourage those of a readerly curiosity to check it out. There are also some artworks, a podfic, and a piece of interactive fiction! The collection contains responses to songs, mainly fiction, with a full playlist of the songs at jukebox-fest.dreamwidth.org or jukebox-fest.livejournal.com.

There are works concerning mermaids and fairies, dystopias and apocalypses, travelling bands and bards, ghosts and derby teams.


Whew, tired. Just finished baking a batch of mini-muffins I'm not very sure of - it's been a while since I made mini-muffins. The problem may be that I put too many spices in things. I take a bite of one mini-muffin and cumin seeds wallop me on the nose. Oops. Similar with the black pepper in the basil-spinach-feta mini-muffins. Meh. I'll have some for breakfast in the morning. If still unimpressed, will buy a nice type of cheese on the way to work. It's not as if we'll be low on food for our morning tea (to celebrate a workmate getting married).

Today also contained: taking the cat to the vet to have a broken tooth extracted. She was very good about it. She escaped in the driveway and then, instead of bolting up the hill, went a dignified metre or two away and complained at me. Then suffered to be stuffed back in her carrier.

It further contained: fencing with the very slack property manager. Or, our property manager's boss. Property manager's boss: "How come you haven't been answering T's communications?" Me: "It's funny you should say that..." Property manager's boss promised, with property manager in the room with him, that we would receive a notice of flat inspection today. Unamazingly, we have not.

To sleep, and then, tomorrow, to reveal Jukebox creators' names. I wish I'd managed to comment on even a third of works by now, but alas. I shall catch up.
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
... your skills would be appreciated.

My exchange, Jukebox, is due to open for reveals this weekend, but I have a couple of lingering pinch hits. I guess we're all just a bit over-committed.

Pinch hits are here: http://jukebox-fest.dreamwidth.org, or http://jukebox-fest.livejournal.com.

And all the pinch hits are now spoken for! Thank you.

Of course, if you like the idea of writing a treat (and getting feedback rather soon), head over and have a look at the prompts anyway. :P

bulletin

May. 14th, 2015 08:55 pm
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
After a warm summer and an unusually mild autumn, the weather's come down on us. A lot of rain earlier this week and a frightening amount of rain today - at least in the northern suburbs, along the Kapiti Coast, and the Hutt Valley - mean that the highways in and out of the capital city have been intermittently closed, the railway lines are quite definitely closed [most underpasses to stations are awash!], many people's homes have been flooded, and transport is, overall, chaotic.

The office emptied gradually today as various people, concerned for their circumstances, left early. Some may not be able to return tomorrow.

A friend who can't get back to her home tonight will show up here soon. We have a spare room, though it's J's study most of the time.

And there sure is a downside to Wellington's few degrees of separation. Hopefully it is one of few deaths, but I have learned that a colleague's colleague's father died when he was washed away in floods today.

Stuff.co.nz's liveblog
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
Before other topics, fandom (as always with me)...

Assignments have gone out for the mini-Yuletide exchange Night on Fic Mountain, and there are some pinch hits urgently needed. The fandoms are Avatars - Tui T Sutherland, The Little Lady Agency - Hester Browne, The Trouble With Kings - Sherwood Smith, Eon - Alison Goodman, Being Human (US/Canada) , Intelligence (US TV 2014), Saving Hope, and Life (TV). If you can help with any of those, well, help would be appreciated. See the Night on Fic Mountain LJ and DW communities. I believe the third pinch hit has been claimed.


The new job is going really well. I'm still working through training materials and have yet to do any real work, or so I feel, but I am assured that that is fine. I'm here for the long haul. Better to really understand the material. It's a friendly office. It has knitters and people with little Tardises on their desk. People whose favourite colour is orange and who like cats. There's a bake-off on Monday. There's a person who does Yuletide.

(That was a surprise. The HR advisor led me on a tour of the upper floors - I walked into that person's office with my hand outstretched ready to shake - and then did a double-take. Oh, it's you, distant fandom acquaintance!)

80~90-person office and there's someone else who does Yuletide. THIS CITY.

(I mentioned online writing communities, in a coy way, in the personal profile I had to submit for the departmental newsletter. I was mainly thinking of Jukebox, though. It was the last day of sign-ups and my grin was splitting my face at the idea of 54 AMAZING PEOPLE, YOU ALL ARE THE BEST.)


I am adjusting okay, I think. Like: yesterday I went to main job and came home and had dinner in the oven at 5:40pm and cleaned out the cat's litter box and arranged with Spark to cancel my landline and ate dinner with Joel and went to work at job #2 and worked approximately between 7:40pm and 10:20pm and came home by 10:45pm and.... stayed up wasting time on the internet, but apart from that, highly successful adulting. I have had a few days like that. Good. Today I forwent work at job #2, except for a related social thing, in order to catch up with a friend, which was really nice. Not sure if I'll be able to work tomorrow evening, especially since I'm taking my long-suffering laptop in to have the trackpad fixed, but in its turn, that will motivate me to get into work early on Saturday and Sunday, because of limited access to home internet. Meanwhile, in this dearth of internet, I'll work on my Once Upon Fic (plans A and B, competing) on paper. And so it goes.


I think I can I think I can I think I can I think I can.

Dear DJ

Apr. 9th, 2015 09:49 am
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
[aka: my 'letter' to the person assigned to create a gift for me in the Jukebox exchange, or anyone considering creating a treat for me. If you don't know what I'm talking about, consider investigating Jukebox! It's kind of a gateway drug to original fic if you're in fandom, or a gateway drug to fandom & fanworks if you write original stuff. And it's open to visual & podfic artists this year.]

Letter below! )
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
1. I signed up to the WIP Big Bang challenge (2nd year, new mods). This challenge is for writers who have Big Bang-length fics half-written and want extra encouragement to complete them. I signed up with my Rarewomen 2014 Black Jewels fic. On the one hand, that means I won't be posting a continuation to it until July; on the other hand, I wasn't getting much done on it on my own. The community encouragement will help. This was one of the challenges I 'budgeted' for this year.

2. Sign-ups are open for the Night on Fic Mountain challenge, a smaller Yuletide set around the opposite solstice. I am not signing up for that myself, but I am helping with a bit of admin. There are presently 42 sign-ups and I think the tag set has a lot of intriguing options in it.

3. Jukebox sign-ups are open! Jukebox is MY challenge. I'm pretty excited about the prompts I'm seeing, about the number of sign-ups, about the range of songs... Everything!

4. Got a bit done on my Once Upon Fic story today. The night is young. I have a plot in mind, but it's one of those stories where I re-write the start over and over again.

5. I got some glorious gifts for Bad Bang 4. It was a lot of fun. I think I found the right balance to strike in my comments - sort of over-earnestly encouraging, with a little bit of wank now and then. I wanted to join in the game this time, but I didn't want to be Indignant About Things.

6. I am behind on beta'ing. However, I did just finish a long-ish beta job.

7. I did not manage to post a NYR fic in March. Darn. I probably won't manage one for April either, what with various exchanges. However, most of the exchanges I've promised myself are happening in the middle of the year. Maybe I'll catch up to my one-per-month goal.
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
This is my letter for the Bad Bang 4 exchange.

a letter of dubious entertainment or information value )

Vetos: graphic animal harm or harm to hands.
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
First: hey, friends-list or reading circle. I have a question for each of you.

If I'm mutual friends with you on LJ, or we're subscribed to each other or have access on Dreamwidth, what sort of interactions are you expecting to have with me? What kinds of things do you think of as basic courtesies, and what kinds of comments or shout-outs or tagging systems do you enjoy seeing (even if you don't expect them)? What works for you?

Feel free to ignore the question, especially if you think things are working for you. But it occurs to me that I employ assumptions in my journaling, and you probably do too, and they may not be the same assumptions.


Second: life news time! I got the job I really wanted. It's in publishing, but it's structured and precise. That makes it the best of both worlds for me. I am excited and hopeful and grateful. However, instead of working 0.5 jobs, as I have for the last year and a half, I will soon be working 1.5 jobs. That means I won't be around very much. Sorry. Then again, given how seldom I update this journal or comment, you may not notice much of a difference.


Third: it's Bad Bang time again. Bad Bang is a series of fandom exchanges and fests based around the idea of creating intentionally terrible fiction and art. I am really tempted to sign up, but I told myself I could sign up to only 6 exchanges this year. On the other hand, one of the ones I promised myself I could sign up to this year isn't going to run... So: I will allow myself to sign up to Bad Bang 4 if I can write one of the stories/chapters on my priority list, and if I have spent 1 hour brainstorming and plotting my Once Upon a Fic story, by Wednesday. Let's see.


Fourth: Not a bad weekend! The very final session of the 33AR LARP campaign is in two weeks, and my co-chef and I spent this evening testing out recipes. In the matter of rice, I concede defeat. I am not good with rice on the best of days, and making a rice dish as part of a meal for 60 people is simply beyond me. Some past attempts have produced hilarious disasters. No more. On the other hand, the parsnip-apple soup will be just fine, the lentil stew was suitably hearty, 20thcenturyvole's muffins were delicious, and I am discovering a new fondness for beetroot.


Oh, and Fifth: We wanted something Joel and Paul and I could all watch together after I lost enthusiasm for The Americans. (I have a lot of respect for The Americans, but I wasn't enjoying it.) We tried The Blacklist, and although Paul and I found James Spader to be sufficient entertainment, we had to admit he carried the thing, and Joel was bored. Now we're on Person of Interest, and enjoying it very much so far. I shall update if asked!
morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
Went to Jason Webley's show last night! Unfortunately, I was overcome by a gastrointestinal bug and had to leave very, very early, but it was still good fun.

He starting singing a song at the request of the crowd, and then went, "look, this isn't happening, I can't hit that note, THIS WILL END IN DISASTER."

Me: "Map?"

Him - to my delight: "Yeah, okay."

And then he played the song I had as my Jukebox 2013 assignment. I was ridiculously pleased.

The opening band, a local group called the "Klaus Quartet", I think, played Britney Spears' "Toxic" as their closing number (on accordion, two ukeleles, and a bass guitar) which also pleased me very much.

Now let's see if I can tolerate eating a cracker. Signs point to no. :(

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