|December 4th, 2013 08:23 pm|
Some random headcanons from the Doctor Who anniversay special (yes, I am still thinking about this, give me a Master and/or Romana back and I may fall back into this fandom all the way again, oops.)( spoiler cut )
...oh good, there are already people vidding it to Johnny Cash's 'Hurt', I don't have to attempt to do it myself.
(How is there no Peter&Colin&Sylvester BroTP on the Archive yet? How is this possible? (And why is the only Pertwee & Delgado fic in a language I don't read?) Fandom, you are causing me pain.)
|December 2nd, 2013 10:22 pm - Some Exercises in the Craft of Writing|
There was a really interesting conversation on Tumblr recently about how to practice writing as a craft
(read the reblog comments too, they're all interesting), especially compared to other creative arts like music and visual art, and it was full of interesting thinky bits and any of you who are trying to be better writers should read it.
Anyway, I didn't speak up there because a) still refuse to discuss anything with any depth via tumblr sorry, and b) what I had to say is sort of orthogonal to the fascinating points they were making. But I have had "post about the stuff you do as writing exercise/practice/warmup" on my list for awhile, and I am fresh off a triumphant tenth massive failure at NaNo, so here is a list of five things I do as a writer that I do sort of think of as the equivalent of an artist doing drawing exercises or a musician doing scales or a boxer jumping rope, and that I think address, at least a little bit, the question from the tumblr thread of how you divide "write a thing" up into individual, simpler skills that can be practiced without having do everything at once.
Though first I should say that every brain works differently and every writer has a different way of working with words, so probably most of these will make no sense to most of you. Also, the first and always advice for being a better writer is the same advice for anybody trying to be better at any skill of any kind - do it a lot, do it with discipline, keep doing it. And read what other people are doing, too, read constantly.
The below are just things I have worked out as semi-effective substitutes for being disciplined and diligent, that I can do when I make time or in-betweens, because let's face it, disciplined and diligent is just not happening anytime soon for some of us, and they're things that work for me, more-or-less, or at least they feel like they work. But also, I think there's a tendency with beginning writers to steer them away from these kinds of exercises, because it is
easy to fall into doing "writing exercises" instead of actually writing things
. All the same, though, I think some of them can be very useful, as long as you keep in mind that they aren't a substitute
for actually writing, so it seemed like they were worth sharing.
Also someone recently asked me how I managed to sit down two nights before an exchange fic was due with a blank page and end up with 7000 words of passable fiction by the deadline. My best answer was something like "Well, didn't write anything down
until then, but I'd been working on writing it for months..." This is sort of the expanded version of that answer.( Write without writing anything down )( Sketch from life )( Do Stupid Language Tricks )( Pastiche Things )( Do stuff. Try things. )
|December 2nd, 2013 01:01 am - (And this was odd, because it was the middle of the night)|
If you're doing that December post-a-day meme and I just left you a prompt that is making you go 'bzuh?'-- it is because I am attempting to hack my reading list so that on and around Dec. 10 we shall talk of many things--
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--,
Of cabbages--and kings--,
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings.
I've been wanting to do this for awhile, you just gave me a mechanism that was too good to pass up. I think there are enough of you that I got double coverage on each topic, so we should be good even if a few people drop out. Carry on. (If you are not doing the pick-a-date version of the meme, you too are welcome to pick one of those topics to discuss on or around Dec. 10!)
|November 29th, 2013 09:07 pm - Long Ago in the Future|
"Long ago in the future, in the galaxy of Witzbilb, near Tarraxsten, a planet with five moons, on a little planetoid no bigger than a gob of spit in this vast and expanding universe, there was a moment."
"This is a story about a moment?"
"A moment, like a moment in time, right?"
"Right. Now to continue, this was a happy little moment that had never done anybody the least harm. This moment, whose name was Dennis, played with the other little moments, romping and gamboling with never a care in the world. Little Dennis never suspected that he would become a moment in history - of course he already had, because this is a story of the future in the tense of the past."
"Would you mind if I went to sleep now?"
"This isn't holding your interest, is it?"
"Okay, how about if I told you the true story about how I became a time tourist?"
"A time tourist? What's that?"
"It really should be space-time-and-the-other - that's the element in which I am a tourist - but time tourist sounds better. It could be a story on TV. 'Borgel the Time Tourist.' 'Borgel the Time Tourist and his Amazing Adventures.' 'The Amazing Adventures of Borgel the Time Tourist.' Welcome to another thrilling episode of 'Borgel, Tourist In Time.' A watch company could sponsor it."
--excerpt from Borgel
by Pinkwater, aka possibly the worst thing I could have picked up for light reading after finally watching the Doctor Who anniversary stuffs
So anyway, yes, finally watched the Doctor Who anniversary stuffs. If any of you have a reaction post I absolutely should read, you should tell me about it now. :P Also, ( spoilers )
|November 20th, 2013 10:16 pm - "Things", said Montparnasse|
1. I went to a Les Mis fan meetup in DC on Saturday! We went to the National Gallery of Art and then to dinner in Chinatown. It was fun! Since it was mostly Tumblr-only people I wrote it up on tumblr first, but reposting here for posterity, because Tumblr.( Les Mis DC Meetup )
2. I know there are some of you who would find this relevant who wouldn't have seen it on tumblr, so I just thought you ought to know that Diane Duane wrote about marriage in the Five Kingdoms, including a tiny ficbit of Herewiss/Wyn that is ADORABLE
(...I still want to write fic someday that covers all the sub-relationships in that marriage. Series of 128 drabbles?)
3. I got a new computer mike! It's ... much better than the inbuilt one, though not exactly a paragon of quality. Anyway, if I'm really doing this podcast thing, I should practice sound editing, so the first five people who give me a comment selecting 500 words or so of fanfic by either them or me will get a beginner's podcast of it. :D
|November 8th, 2013 12:58 am - Podcasts|
...I guess if I'm actually attempting to make a podcast I should finally do that "podcasts I listen to" post I've been meaning to make, huh?
So here are the podcasts I currently listen to regularly, in case anyone is looking for interesting podcasts:( A good dozen podcasts )
Despite how long that list looks, I do occasionally run out of stuff to listen to, if half the shows are on hiatus and it's an off week for the others and I'm doing a lot of physical stuff where I have headphones in. Does anybody have any more recs for somebody who likes the above? Looking over what they have in common, the salient features seem to be:
1. Easy to download as .mp3 and/or stream online without needing to mess with itunes
2. Non-fiction, and in a conversational style that's basically just a bunch of smart and/or interesting people talking about interesting and/or entertaining stuff, usually with a fannish/geeky POV (even the ones up there that don't look fannish on the surface are apt to turn into intense analysis of Pacific Rim or HP Lovecraft filk or whatever at the drop of a hat.)
3. The sort of thing where I can fade out for a few minutes and then come back and not be lost or feel like I really need to rewind.
4. At least twice monthly episodes of around an hour.
5. Doesn't take itself seriously at all.
|November 6th, 2013 04:28 pm - Help me with Les Mis podcast? Anyone?|ETA: Okay, I think I have enough people! LM fandom friends you are awesome ♥ we will do this thing.
is doing guest episodes during their mid-year hiatus this year, and one topic that they mentioned they'd love to have somebody do is Les Misérables fandom. I just heard back from them, and apparently they still haven't had anybody offer to do Les Mis.
Les Mis fandom, we can make this happen! I'm willing to organize and do all the audio editing and tech stuff, but I can't do a podcast just talking to myself (I know. I've tried. It doesn't work.) and all the people I've asked so far are too shy to talk into a mike. So I need 1-3 other people who are in Les Miserables fandom, who would like to spend a couple of hours in the near future talking about this fandom on Skype, to go out to an audience of probably a few thousand listeners.
Is there anybody reading this who thinks that describes them? If it doesn't describe you, but you know people who might be interested, would you let them know?
All you have to do is be able to ramble about Les Mis fandom with me and maybe a few other fanpeople, in something resembling English, over Skype, for a few hours in the next month or so.
You don't have to a) be a bnf, b) already be my friend, c) be any sort of expert, d) have podcasting experience, or e) do anything in the fandom other than lurk, although of course I wouldn't turn down anybody who is! It would be nice if you are familiar with /report, or if you can pronounce the names of Les Amis properly (since I can't), and I'd prefer if you're over 17 in case we start talking about porn a lot, but none of those are required.
Podcasting is basically the only fannish medium I haven't messed around with, so I would love to take this chance to try it and screw up in the most public way possible.
Let me know either through tumblr or dw or email (this username at yahoo) if you're interested, and we'll put something together!
|October 31st, 2013 11:04 pm - Scary Things|
Riding a tandem bicycle is possibly the SCARIEST thing I have done all year. I mean I knew going in that the balance would be iffy, and that if I rode on the back I would have to trust the steering and speed control to the person in front, but that was the least of it.( about riding a tandem for the first time )
And speaking of scary things - National Novel Writing Month! Yes, I'm planning to do it this year. I'm going to go back to my science-fiction setting from, uh, 2010? But instead of attempting to do, like, a plot or a coherent story, I am going to use this thing I just programmed:
and let an extremely wordy 19th century French novelist decide what is going to happen in each day's writing, by way of pastiching said random chapter. Into pulp SF setting with characters vaguely based on 21st century European politicians. In plot based around the excitement and pageantry of economics. With bonus Stupid Language Tricks.
I don't see what could possibly go wrong here.
If anybody would like to be my writing buddy on the nano website, here is my mostly-unedited-from-last year profile on the nano site: melannen@nano
. I'm basically just adding everybody back. If anybody would like to join me in random-chapter-ing, I am sure it will be delightful. And, as always, I will probably never get around to spamming my original fic filter with excerpts, but if you would like to be on it just in case, just let me know.
Okay, that's done, five minutes to midnight! Time to stare with despair at that three-year-old scrivener file.
|October 30th, 2013 01:15 am - Miseres Exchange Fic|
Okay, I re-read my exchange story and took out another dozen or so typos and bad phrasings, and I guess it's not entirely terrible. :P
For some reason, notifications to subscribers don't seem to have gone out for stories when the collection was revealed, so if you're subscribed to me, you probably didn't see this.Some Things Which Occurred in the Garden on the Rue Plumet
(7142 words) by melannen
Fandom: Les Misérables - Victor Hugo
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Père Fauchelevent & Jean Valjean, Père Fauchelevent & Javert, Père Fauchelevent & Javert & Jean Valjean, Original Squirrel Character(s)/Original Squirrel Character(s), Javert & Jean Valjean
Characters: Père Fauchelevent, Jean Valjean, Original Squirrel Characters, Javert (Les Misérables), Cosette Fauchelevent, Marius Pontmercy
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Javert Survives, Alternate Universe - Fauchelevent Survives, Alternate Universe - Valjean Survives, Post-Barricade, Face Squirrels, Canon Era, Grumpy Old Men, Victor Hugo Pastiche, Depression, Fluff, Non-human POV, Outdoor Sex, Domesticity, Mating Cycles/In Heat, Baby Animals, Hats, Families of Choice
This fic contains Old Men and squirrels.
...nope, that's basically it. That's the fic. Old men and squirrels.
The story I got was by cinaed
and as you would expect, given that, it was wonderful and amazing in all ways! She based it on one of the scenarios I outlined in that JVJ OTP meme I did here awhile back, by which I mean HUDDLING FOR WARMTH in a cottage in the country. You should all read it and tell Cinaed how wonderful it is.The Summer Has His Joys, And Winter His Delights
(5471 words) by Cinaed
Fandom: Les Misérables - Victor Hugo
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Javert/Jean Valjean, Cosette Fauchelevent & Jean Valjean
Characters: Jean Valjean, Cosette Fauchelevent, Javert (Les Misérables)
Additional Tags: POV Male Character, Post-Canon, Alternate Universe - Javert Survives, Moving In Together, Snowed In, Blow Jobs, Wordcount: 5.000-10.000, First Kiss, Canon Era, Friends to Lovers
The autumn after Cosette gets married, Valjean decides to close up the house in Paris and move into a little cottage he's rented in the countryside up north. At Cosette's insistence, Valjean invites Javert along, and to their mutual surprise, Javert agrees. Of course, three months, much less a week, is a long time with only each other for company...
|October 28th, 2013 04:54 pm|
The Les Mis fanwork exchange I signed up for is going live in about an hour and a half. I wrote 7000 words in forty-eight hours for it. I may or may not link it here depending on if I decide it's terrible. :P
any, relevant to that, have poll:
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 58
|October 20th, 2013 05:06 pm - Yuletide + SCIENCE OTP|
...I realized only after re-reading my letter multiple times that my yuletide requests this year basically come down to SCIENCE!!! (or arm joe). Ooops?
So, speaking of SCIENCE!!, four years ago, when Dreamwidth was less that a year old, I sampled the list of Yuletide letters
to see where fandom-as-represented-by-Yuletide was living at the time.
I thought it'd be fun to do it again this year, especially with all the talk about DW and LJ being dead and fandom moving to Tumblr.( The Procedure )( The Results )( Analysis )
In 2009 I included a rant about people linking to their letters with a link text of "here" or "my letter" and how annoying that was. There was considerably less of that this year, and considerably more of people linking with the bare URL. I'm not sure if that's due to a greater awareness of accessible link text, something in the instructions biasing people toward a bare URL, or fandom's greater comfort with that format due to anon communities where most links are bare URLs due to spamblocking on anon comment. Whatever, I appreciate it!
(also, random helpful people who were going through the post reply to comments with non-linked URL with linked versions: do your browsers not have a built-in right click-go to URL option for those? What chintzy kind of browsers are you using??)
Current Mood:: SCIENCE
|October 17th, 2013 11:34 pm - Yuletide letter!|
Hi yuletide people!
So my yuletide letters every year are turning more and more into just "these fandoms are amazing they should have a ton of fic written in them!" That is really all I want out of yuletide- for these fandoms to get fic, any fic, written in them. As long as you do that, I will be happy!
The rest of this letter is just for if you want a more specific starting-place or somewhere else to look. :)
General stuff about writing for me: I basically like everything? Crossovers with any fandom are welcome, as are ridiculous AUs or porn or gen or whatever else you want to write. I have no hard 'no's in fic, although for yuletide, I usually ask that you try to write in a spirit of affection for the fandom, and not go significantly darker than canon? (although if your story leads you darker, go ahead.)( Humanx Commonwealth )( Lucky Starr )( Arm Joe )( Lovelace and Babbage )( Paleontology RPF )( Otzi the Iceman RPF )
|October 9th, 2013 01:27 am|
Today I found myself thinking "Man, this is getting annoying - coughing and sneezing more than usual, stuffy nose turning into post-nasal drip that's giving me a sore throat, and ears that don't *quite* hurt but feel like they're about to, plus I've been feeling like butter-over-too-much bread, like I need to get more sleep except I can't when I try, and my appetite is gone and my digestion's feeling picky - I hope I don't get sick."
And then I stopped and thought about that list of symptoms and went, wait, what more would I have to *get* to qualify as "sick"? Basically the only symptom left is a fever, and I almost never get fevers.
(The things is, it's all just right at the level where as long as I keep busy, I don't consciously notice it - but if I stop moving for a few minutes, I realize I'm miserable. And really it's all only maybe one tick above my usual level of "damn you physical body" anyway. So I'm actually maybe even getting more done than usual, because I don't want to stop moving long enough to notice that I feel bad. So I'm not *really* sick. Right? Right.)
...of course reading kaiju drift hangover fic whenever I can't sleep probably isn't helping the weird oogy feeling. :P
ANYWAY on to important things. Like Yuletide.
The extra two request slots are screwing me up! I have, I think, five requests I know I'm asking for (the four things I nominated: paleontology RPF, Bran/Tru, Arm Joe, Lovelace and Babbage + Lucky Starr) but that leaves one slot open, and I have to *decide*! Augh.
Here's my current list of possibles for request six:( It's less than 20 I can totally narrow it down to one! )
This is your chance to talk me into one of them. :P
And, just for fun, my extremely preliminary
offers list:( Not... not less than 20 )
|September 20th, 2013 08:47 pm - Oolon Colluphid Was Right|
So. Uh. I've been digging around in my old-wips files some more, and meanwhile I was trying to write Grantaire, and I remembered that this existed and was very close to finished? It is mostly very very old, and very, very, very
silly - and I would have bet that I'd never post SGA fic again - but I accidentally finished it, so, um, why not.Oolon Colluphid Was Right
(1060 words) by melannen
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Rodney McKay/John Sheppard
Characters: Rodney McKay, Teyla Emmagan, John Sheppard, Ronon Dex
Additional Tags: Imprisonment, Communication, Languages and Linguistics, Cultural References, Rampant Geekery, Codes & Ciphers, Self-Indulgent, The Author Regrets Nothing
The Stargates' universal translation effect can sometimes make secret communication in enemy territory difficult. Luckily, Rodney has a plan.
|September 19th, 2013 06:47 pm - Mammal Ethology and Small Group Dynamics|
I posted a thing to AO3 last night! Don't get excited, it's not new fic, it's the Community werewolf AU I was working on last year. But all the '10 in 10' stuff got me looking at my older wips list, and I decided that the as-originally-planned first chapter would work as a finished fic if I cleaned it up a little. So here it is.Mammal Ethology And Small Group Dynamics
(4160 words) by melannen
Fandom: Community (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Troy Barnes, Abed Nadir, Britta Perry, Jeff Winger, Shirley Bennett, Annie Edison, Pierce Hawthorne
Additional Tags: Episode: s01e01 Pilot, Alternate Universe - Werewolf, Pack Dynamics, Inspirational Speeches
"If we're going with the whole pack dynamics thing, I nominate Pierce for omega," Abed said.
|September 17th, 2013 06:04 pm - HELLO DREAMWIDTH|
I am back in Maryland!
...I have been back for several weeks, as those of you I have seen in comment threads have probably noticed. Just. Have not updated.
(I have been watching all the people who came back with new enthusiasm for journaling, and going 'well, at least I was also this patchy about journaling back before tumblr existed'.)
(I have posted some stuff to tumblr but really you aren't missing much except chat injokes and wrangling stuff.)
Anyway, I came home and promptly volunteered to cover for our church organist who is on vacation for three weeks, because the alternative was NO MUSIC AT ALL (our church is tiny okay.) So I've been desperately trying to remember how to play piano ever since then. I haven't quite gotten brave enough to play with both hands at once yet, but at least I've mostly remembered how to read the bottom clef? Luckily I learned last Sunday that once the congregation starts singing nobody can hear the piano anyway, so nobody can tell when I totally lose the thread.
....hopefully this three weeks of abject terror will end in me actually continuing to work on piano with some regularity, that was the idea when I volunteered. I would love to be able to improvise chords like my father could, but that's a long way off. In the meantime, I am constantly going "can't get on computer, should practice piano". This doesn't actually keep me off the computer, but it does keep me from starting anything productive on the computer.
Anyway onto important stuff, by which I mean ( YULETIDE NOMINATIONS )
Obviously solution: poll which I will then procede to ignore! :D
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 27
What should I nominate for yuletide?
|August 25th, 2013 09:10 am|
I posted a silly audio thing on Tumblr a couple days ago:A bootleg track from the (nonexistent) late ’80s all-female production of Les Miserables, featuring Le Bien de l’ABC, the Saint-Simonian lesbian feminist commune, on the eve of revolution.
And, as predicted by the Law of Tumblr that states that the less work, effort, and passion you put into a post, the more notes it will get, silly audio thing that I spent half an hour on (mostly involving playing with other effects in Audacity) has 178 notes as of time of posting this...
But it is fun to be able to use Tumblr's notes system to trace how a post spreads across the internet, so of *course* I have been keeping a close eye on the reblogs (and the tags on them), and as predicted by the Second Law of Tumblr, many of the tags on reblogs have either made it clear that people didn't actually read the post, or have shown that listeners are getting something out of it that I didn't.
(Mostly, what they've been getting out of it is 'wow, girl Grantaire', when I actually think that Grantaire's voice is the one that works least well? It was low-pitched and non-singy enough that, unlike Marius and whoever the first singer was, it doesn't really sound obviously like a female singer to me. ...of course, it does sound like a low-voiced woman whose voice has been roughened a bit further by bad alcohol and smoking, but still, all I
can hear is that the pitch-shifting didn't work as well.)
Although I did get one comment to the effect that we need more lesbian Marius, with which I DEEPLY agree. Marianne Pontmercy, who storms out of her grandfather's house to honor the memory of her father, gets 'adopted' by Courfeyrec, stubbornly educates herself enough to support herself respectably (even if she has to do more of the same work for less pay than Marius did....), lives in made-over gowns and wanders Paris staring at clouds - until she meets a beautiful girl named Cosette and falls in love... and at that point the story starts to diverge from canon rapidly.
(I knew that if I started reading the book I'd wind up being most interested in Marius. Called it. Oops.)
...anyway, I am heading home from my summer of cat-and-flat-sitting in Chicago in a few days, alas. (yes, I did spend time I should have been packing on messing with Audacity instead.) I shall miss being able to walk or bike to interesting places whenever I feel like it, and I shall definitely
miss being able to walk to the Lake.
A friend of mine drove up to pick me up as an excuse for a road-trip, so we're going to take it slow on the way back East. Anybody know of any fun road-trip stops - or, in fact, anything interesting - anywhere in the state of Indiana? We haven't found any yet.
|August 13th, 2013 11:18 pm - Life?|
So I guess I should announce it here: I am now officially Tag Wrangler staff! Wooo!
(I wrote filk to celebrate: A Complete History of the AO3 as Told by a Humble Wrangler Arranged to the Melody of 'A Complete History of the Soviet Union as Told by a Humble Worker Arranged to the Melody of Tetris'
(656 words) by melannen
/me hides in the closet for a bit.
Uh, other than that: I've been Doing All The Things (that are free and involve me leaving the apartment, so a lot of concerts/tiny museums/bike rides, mostly.) The other night I went to one of the free concerts-in-the-park that just said "Stomping Blues Rock" on the flier but turned out to be a showcase for a visiting DJ from Arizona named Cecil. So that happened. And have been experimenting with how many meals I can cook involving only rice, potatoes, zucchini, cheddar cheese and milk as main ingredients. (More than you'd think!)
Also since the announcement of the new Doctor Who, the one short, cracky Malcolm Tucker fic I have up on AO3 has gotten more kudos than in the entire previous six months. Which got me looking back at Thick of It fic. And almost tempted to try to finish my one lingering WIP from that kinkmeme (good thing I've lost my notes and can't remember how it ends.)
Instead I'm just going to sit here and imagine I live in a world where Rebecca Front is the twelfth Doctor.
|August 9th, 2013 12:46 am|
Okay, I have posted meme replies for:Alexios/Hilarion (Frontier Wolf)Ezar/Aral (Barrayar)Vimes/Vetinari (Discworld)Han/Leia (Star Wars)Dresden/Marcone (Dresden Files)Valjean/Fauchelevent (Les Miserables)
...I will get to the others (even the ones I know almost no canon for, that'll be fun) but, uh, these take longer than I expected! So I'm officially closing nominations as of whenever I get on DW tomorrow morning. So if you still want to ask for something, do it soon!
|August 8th, 2013 01:38 am - Meme via tumblr|
Okay, I hardly ever meme, but I need something to re-awaken my fanfiction organs, I think, so here, ask me about the one that's going around tumblr right now. (Not posting to tumblr because trying to do this sort of thing in tumblr posts is terrible in all ways.)scootiemcbooty
Put a ship in
my ask a comment and I will tell you a bit about how each of the following scenarios would go down for them:
Okay, requests closed, sorry, I've wasted too much time on this already. :P
- Fake dating
- Sexpollen/fuck or die/aliens made them do it
- Secret kinks
- Their first kiss
- Meeting the parents
- Moving in together
- A crossover of my choice
- An au of my choice
- If you like, another trope/scenario of your choice
...any ship, but depending on what ship you ask for, you may get what you deserve.