schneefink: Teyla and Sora with drinks, laughing (SGA Teyla and Sora cheerful)
Austria just elected the left-wing instead of the right-wing candidate president! And it wasn't close, a 6% difference, ten times as much as in the original run-off election. Even bigger voter participation too. I'm so, so relieved.

I still don't think the Constitutional Court decision to repeat the election was correct, but in hindsight it was probably a good thing. If they hadn't the FPÖ would always keep the rumors alive that Van der Bellen only won because of manipulation, and like this it's unambiguous.
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
I had a week where I felt like a turtle in a shell all the time, I just wanted to stay at home and do nothing. Ugh. Happens. There were a few things I didn't do, but fortunately nothing immediately time-critical, and fortunately I had events with friends planned over the weekend, that helped. Not sure yet if I'll have to default on my Yuletide story.

The weekend: D&D on Friday, Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday, Disney movies on Sunday :)

Latest D&D things:More spiders, and time travel )

Saturday: Lio and Maria's friend Kelly is from the US, but has spent most of the last few years in Europe. She wanted an authentic American Thanksgiving dinner, so on Saturday we first had pumpkin-carrot-turkey soup and then stuffed turkey with cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes with gravy, brussel sprouts with chestnuts, corn fritters, sweet potato casserole, ginger-glazed carrots, and a salad with apple and cucumber and fennel and pomegranate. It was amazing. It took me an hour to finish my very full plate and then I felt accomplished *g* Now I understand better why Thanksgiving is such a big deal in the US, if the food is always like that. I made the sweet potato casserole and it was actually quite easy and turned out well, I might have to do it again. I forgot to write down the amount I needed before going shopping so now we have quite a few more sweet potatoes at home.

On Sunday LB organized a Disney movie night, we saw "The Emperor's New Groove" and "Mulan." I hadn't seen either in years, it was fun. Before the movies we cooked pumpkin curry, pumpkin goat cheese and fig tart, and cheese baguettes. LB invited around ten of his friends, we had a good time and we already made plans for more movie nights. We definitely have to see "Nightmare Before Christmas" before, well, Christmas.

New week, I'm still very tired but I feel a bit better so fingers crossed I'll actually be able to accomplish things. Climbing today, and tomorrow is an event I'm invited to at the company where I'm currently in the middle of the application process, I'm almost optimistic.
schneefink: (Kaylee with umbrella shiny)
I saw "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" yesterday, it was fun. Spoilers )

I think this was only the second movie that I saw in a theater this year (the first was Ghostbusters.) Three last December though, and there are three more movies I'm planning to see in theater this year: Rogue One, and probably Arrival and Moana. Looks like December is movie month.

Other things: I hadn't been sick for so long that I forgot how much it sucks. A lot. I'm not at the stage where I need someone to look after me, but just in case, this is one of the reasons why I'm happy I don't live alone.
schneefink: picture of Relena looking at the viewer (GW Relena)
Soo today I read three books and blinked and the day was over. Not sure how that happened lie. I read the first three Raksura books by Martha Wells and enjoyed them very much.

I had "The Cloud Roads" at home as a paperback for a few years and I remembered reading it, but that I didn't especially like it, and I even thought of leaving it behind when I moved. (I can't even remember why I picked it up again yesterday, maybe I just saw it on the shelf?) Looking back, I think that was during a time when I was very tired of Chosen One storylines, so I was annoyed by Moon being an oh-so-rare and important and special consort from the beginning. I also remember being a lot more annoyed by the biologically supported caste system than I was this time (I think I was reading a lot of D/s AUs.)

I like the worldbuilding of the series, especially the many different races and cultures. I like the characters, Moon and Jade and Chime and Stone and the others, and how they relate to each other, and the social structure of the court(s). (I think Chime might be my favorite.) I like the descriptions, with some exceptions they work well for me. I liked the plots mostly as well, especially for the h/c.

I didn't read the fourth book yet because a) I looked at the time and noticed that it was midnight, oops; and b) I saw in reviews that book 4 ends on a big cliffhanger, and since book 5 is coming out in half a year I thought I could wait that long. Not sure that resolve will last longer than a few days, but I'll see. There seems to be some good fic on AO3, I'll try that first.
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
Content note: US election
just in case )

If you want some distractions and good long things to read, have some recs from the "various" pile. (The length of the rec does not mean I liked one of them better, it just turned out that way.)

Raptors in the Rainforest by [ profile] DisaLanglois (Jurassic World/Parks)
270k, gen, post-canon
Summary: How intelligent are velociraptors? Very, very intelligent, as Owen Grady discovers in the aftermath of the Jurassic World disaster. But his quest to prove their intelligence and save his raptors will take him further than he ever expected, and the world will never be the same again.
Why I loved it: This series has fantastic raptor culture and humans being adopted into raptor packs, culture clash exploration (from the beginning and then even more (spoilers), great action scenes, very nice h/c, strong loyalty elements, and also dinosaurs. The central relationship is Blue & Owen Grady, hetero-species life-partners, and it's great. I also love many of the OCs, especially the dinosaurs. And did I mention dinosaurs?

Finding Home by [ profile] darkcyan (Natsume Yuujinchou)
250k, gen, apocafic
Summary:On a school trip, between one moment and the next, Tanuma's teacher and about half of his classmates disappear. Everyone must figure out how to deal with this changed world, and the new dangers it has brought with it. Meanwhile, Tanuma wants to believe that Natsume was not one of those who disappeared that day ... but if not, where is he?
Why I loved it: An amazing ensemble fic, where every character gets a chance to shine. The character voices are great, so are the relationships, and the plot. This is apocafic, and it's not miraculously reversed at the end, but the survivors band together and find unlikely friend and allies and build a community, it's very warm and hopeful despite everything.

Harry Potter and the Natural 20 by [ profile] Sir_Poley (Harry Potter/Dungeons & Dragons)
300k, mostly gen, crossover, WIP
Summary: Milo, a genre-savvy D&D Wizard and Adventurer Extraordinaire is forced to attend Hogwarts, and soon finds himself plunged into a new adventure of magic, mad old Wizards, metagaming, misunderstandings, and munchkinry.
Why I loved it: This is a WIP that hasn't been updated since early 2015, but it currently encompasses two and a half school years and I found what's there very satisfying. It does mean that many storylines are unresolved though, fair warning.
At first I was very sceptical about this crossover: Harry Potter and D&D? It is, however, brilliantly done. Milos' biology, magic etc. still work according to D&D rules, which leads to some hilarious misunderstandings and very creative problem-solving. Depending on which aspects you concentrate on, HP wizards and D&D wizards are very powerful in different ways. In addition to that the author also did amazing worldbuilding of a world that works according to D&D rules and everyone is aware of that. Milos is aware that he is a PC, and he tries to use his meta knowledge from his D&D adventures in Hogwarts.
Full Disclosure, after book 1 I put this down and didn't pick it up again for a few weeks: book 1 is good, but not outstanding. Book 2 however introduces fantastic new storylines and characters and starts to deviate a lot more from the HP storylines, and that continues in book 3 in ways that would be spoiler-y to mention. The ending of book 2 was a gut punch, and then it got even better.
schneefink: (Hängebrücke)
I don't really know how I feel yet, it changes so quickly. Sometimes I feel like crying, especially when I read reactions to the result, I can't do that for very long. Sometimes I just want to ignore it for a while and distract myself, and then I feel guilty because I'm lucky enough to be able to do that with where and what I am and so many people are not. I had quick bursts of "I have to get my shit together and get my life to a point where before the next Austrian parliamentary election (currently scheduled September 2018) I can do my part to make sure our right-wing party doesn't win", I hope those last long enough. (If they reschedule the election to next year that's too soon, I won't be ready to do anything.) I've been writing fic, because if I post something maybe some people will like it and it will briefly cheer them up and that's all I have to offer at the moment. I don't know what to say.

Speaking of: You can prompt me with anything and I'll attempt to write you something. Fandoms I know preferred, it probably won't be long but I'll do my best.

US Election

Nov. 9th, 2016 09:06 am
schneefink: (Hängebrücke)
I'm afraid for my family in the US, for my friends and their families and loved ones, for everyone who looks in any way "different", for anyone who voted for Hillary (or wanted to but couldn't), for people in the countries that will suffer because of the new US president. I hope you all are and will be safe. Love, hugs, good luck, anything you need. People are going to die because of this election and it's terrifying.

I'm not afraid for the people who didn't support HRC or supported Trump, I'm afraid OF them. And angry, so so angry. I'm angry at so many people and institutions, the media, the Republican party, the Supreme Court...
I hope I can use this anger as personal motivation. I involuntarily woke up around 3am today, right when the first polls said that the odds for Trump were above 50%. Went to sleep, woke up three hours later from nightmares, couldn't fall asleep again. I have to do the best I can, now more than ever.

NiF fic

Nov. 6th, 2016 11:44 pm
schneefink: picture of Relena looking at the viewer (GW Relena)
Writing every day in November: week one was a success, feels good. So far I have written snippets of one sort-of fusion, time travel, a canon divergent AU, post-canon fix-it with magic, and an ep 54 missing scene, all for Nirvana in Fire. I made some structuring progress for my Yuletide fic too, I think it's coming along.
(Other than that last week was unfortunately unproductive -.- This is most likely related. I'm not looking forward to therapy on Tuesday at all.)

I finished one ficlet:
New Life, Different Fur
NiF, 330 words, short silly post-canon fluff with magic.
I wanted to write post-canon fluff for [personal profile] naye and found out that in this fandom that's harder than I anticipated… I accidentally wrote three snippets of spoilers ), I meant to fix it but the angst refused to leave. So I had to come up with something else.
schneefink: (Feldgatter)
This was the first D&D session in a while after which I didn't have the immediate urge to tell people about it. It was shorter than usual because we had to start later, and it would have been the ideal opportunity to introduce the new character of the player whose character died last session except the player wasn't there. Basically all we did was talk with two NPCs, find out some non-critical information, and then we stopped because it was late right when we would have had to roll initiative for the next encounter. Let's see how it goes next time, it'll depend on who'll be there to fight…
(At first I was pretty confident because my sorcerer is fully rested and we have some cool new weapons – among other things I Shrunk two trees and party members made arrows out of them, that'll probably do quite a lot of damage – but our opponent is likely aware of our abilities, she is very confident, very good at hiding among the trees, and has a mysterious magical weapon with an area effect…)

DD and I finally watched "Captain America: Civil War" today. We didn't expect it to be a good movie, and it wasn't. I don't even know where to start criticizing. Spoilers )
I couldn't even properly enjoy the action scenes because the set-up was always so bad. I think I'm mostly done with MCU canon by now, fic is at least ten times better anyway.
schneefink: (FF River and Kaylee)
The fifth season of Natsume Yuujinchou has started and I like it a lot :) It had some of everything so far: Tanuma and Taki, Nishimura and Kitamoto, the Fujiwaras, Reiko, Natori and the exorcists, youkai of the week. I hope we'll get to see some of the neighbour youkai again, Misuzu and Hinoe and the others.

spoilers )
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
Recently I've started typing short notes on my new phone right after I wake up about what I remember from my dreams so I can remember them later, because even though I have more practice by now they tend to fade quickly. Sometimes it works. Sometimes, like today, I have notes like "superpowers chase" and have no idea what it was about, but it sounds pretty cool and I'm sad I can't remember it.

("Superpowers bullet" was a thrilling tale about a large group of teenagers who suddenly acquired superpowers, and their teacher/guardian contacted a woman with powerful superpowers of her own to teach them and make sure they didn't lose control. Someone else was watching them through a magical telescope/portal and thought they wanted to use the teenagers to attack people, so he shot the woman through the portal, only to find out about their real plans one moment after he pulled the trigger and right before the bullet hit. The next note said "house explosion"; I don't remember that part but it seems pretty self-explanatory.)

(Yes I'm procrastinating again.)
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
I woke up at 5am last night because the thermostat was buzzing -.- Not a very good day, next chance tomorrow.

Almost two years ago I made a list of which NHL teams I liked and which I didn't, with the goal to repeat the process later to see what changed. I forgot in January, but I made another list now. Quite a lot changed, I even had to make some new categories.

current list )

Very broadly, currently 7 teams are more on the positive side, 17 neutral, 6 negative. Last time it was 15 positive, 11 neutral, 5 negative. Last time I pitied 2 teams, now 7, probably because I know more about more teams.
Sidenote, I still didn't manage to list all 30 teams without looking them up. (I forgot Colorado and Detroit, again.) One day.
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
It's November, which means that not only is the US Election finally almost over, it's also NaNoWriMo. Every year I almost forget. I would like to do it one year, but not yet. This year I plan to write at least something every day (editing doesn't count), that should be possible. Secondary goal is to finish more than one fic, maybe three would be good?, but I'll see. I started with 250 words today, acceptable.

Today was a bank holiday, Monday I was exhausted for no good reason and barely did anything, before that was the weekend and I did very little. Tomorrow I'll have to Do Stuff again. It's only been a few days, but I feel almost, hm, out of practice? Much more anxious about it than I need to be and it's annoying. Stop being annoying, brain.
One week is an acceptable time after sending a job application to call and ask for a status update, right? Usually I would wait two, but in this case if I have a good chance I need to organize things with the university.
I also need to call house management, and just a lot of small stuff, which I can totally handle. Fingers crossed tomorrow will be will be a good day. Fingers crossed and going to bed early.

NiF 2

Oct. 31st, 2016 11:53 am
schneefink: Parker grinning, from First David Job (Parker smiling before jumping off a buil)
They announced that there will be a second season of Nirvana in Fire! I'm almost more nervous than happy. The show is so good, I really don't want my enjoyment to be dampened if I don't like the sequel. It'll be set 50 years later, so at least the characters will be different, but we'll still (I assume) find out a lot about what happened to Jingyan and the others. Of course I know that there's no way that their future is free from hardship, minor spoilers )
On the other hand the sequel will be written by the same person, so there is a chance it'll be as good. In which case the cliffhangers will be terrible.

It'll be a year until NiF 2 comes out – I already know that waiting for the translations and subtitles after each episode comes out will be hard, and it's about 50/50 if I'll manage to wait or spoil myself completely. Hopefully until then I can ignore most of what comes out about the sequel and enjoy my own headcanons.

Speaking of, I'm currently writing three (3!) NiF fics that I feel good about :) Very slowly, but still. Sometimes/when I'm blocked I forget how much fun writing can be. (I never forget the frustration, not even when things are going well.)

In completely different news, today I woke up to zero AO3 notifications. I currently subscribe to 146 stories, 147 series, and 193 authors (authors may overlap with stories/series), so that has never happened before. Not even a comment reply, and I try to leave comments frequently. I was honestly relieved to find out that the problem was on AO3's end, otherwise it would have been a very weird coincidence, and on Halloween of all days. (Problem appears to be solved now, missing emails should appear soon.)
schneefink: picture of Relena looking at the viewer (GW Relena)
Bad news: so many people cancelled that we didn't continue our normal campaign.
Good news: so we continued with the campaign we started the last time that happened, where I tried out being DM :)
Caveat: I only found out about an hour earlier, so I didn't have that much time to prepare…

It went well though! It only lasted ~3.5 hours, then the players arrived at a point where I felt like I really needed more time to plan the next bit. (Usually our sessions go ~6 hours, suddenly I'm even more impressed by our DM.) But until then I kept up with their unexpected actions, the creation of necessary NPCs etc. pretty well, I though. I got lucky too: for example at one point I thought it would be strange if they rode along one road for several hours without encountering any fork in the road (I had it rain heavily so it wasn't strange that they didn't encounter any people), so I mentioned a small road leading to a forester's hut, forgetting that they'd be tempted to check it out and I hadn't planned anything for it… Fortunately they had NPCs with them who managed to persuade them not to.

I want to make a world with complete gender equality, because it's my world and I say so. However, looking back at the first two sessions:
- named NPCs the players encountered: 2 male, 2 female
- named NPCs the players haven't encountered yet: 2 male, 5 female
- unnamed NPCs the players encountered: 8 male, 3 female, 1 unknown
I did realize it wasn't equal, I hadn't realized I had more than twice as many male unnamed NPCs! I'll have to put more effort into balancing that next time. Maybe it felt different because of the named NPCs the women are generally more powerful than the men? Not an excuse.

I also keep encountering things that I need to research more about. For example the backstory of the dukedom they're in is that five years ago there was a hostile take-over by someone commanding a large group of mages, so I need to figure out how many mages & how powerful they should be to make that plausible. (Fortunately that won't be relevant immediately.) Or I introduced an NPC in a wheelchair that I'm pretty sure will appear again, so now I have to research what kind of prostheses there could be available, why she doesn't have them (probably money, she's not wealthy), and how she could eventually get them. She's a cleric, I might just have her level up in the background if there is a higher-level spell she could use, or maybe her god could grant a miracle for outstanding service? I need to research the gods too, I only spent five minutes on picking one for her and I probably should understand that one better.

At least this time I know what the players want to do next time: go to the adventurers' guild, go on a (small) quest, ideally with a combat encounter. I'm pretty sure I can come up with something like that. Hopefully in the next weeks we can continue with our main campaign, but this is fun too.

Last lines

Oct. 28th, 2016 11:51 am
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
Yesterday I did this meme for first lines, today: last lines of my last twenty fics.

Read more... )

- five lines directly refer to something happening in the future, and with context it's even more
- seven include dialogue
- eleven are quite short

Actually I'm satisfied, or at least not unhappy, with more of these than I anticipated. My favorite is from "Assuming Shape": it leads directly to the scene in the comic, and considering how that ended and what I wrote in the previous paragraphs it still makes me emotional every time I reread it. (Nothing says that this can't be an AU where she survives! Still.)
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
Every time I see someone mentioning that LJ/DW are so much quieter than they used to be (sad but true) I want to post something, even if it's something silly, like a "still here"-flag. Usually I write two lines and then stop though. I have a word document with posts I've been meaning to make that's quite long by now…

Writing problems:
- write something silly that's not meant to be serious
- get good concrit
- accidentally take it seriously
- be too embarrassed to edit because it's so silly why did I write this in the first place *facepalm*

I was invited to a Harry Potter-themed birthday party this week, it was fun. Everyone was sorted into a house when they entered, and there were house points to earn, like for good costumes or themed food/drinks or games. Our Ravenclaw head of house won a round of Werewolf in dramatic fashion, for example :)
One of the ways one could win points was by coming up with Harry Potter-themed pick-up lines, that was also fun. My personal favorite was "It's been too long since I've seen you outside of the Mirror of Erised."

Yuletide fic: Haven't made much progress yet, I've been concentrating on NiF fic (not for Yuletide.) There's this one character I don't have a good feel for, and she's quite important so that's annoying. I could write her in two different ways and it would result in two different stories, one way that makes it much easier for me to empathize with her and one way that I suspect is a little closer to canon. I want to write the latter, but if I'm blocked for much longer I may write the first version.

First line meme
Rules: List the first lines of your last 20 stories. See if there are any patterns. Read more... )

Of the 20:
- three open with dialogue
- eight open with a name
- ten have some kind of time reference
- ten have some kind of location reference
Just being practical.
(Personally I often find last lines more difficult to come up with than opening lines. Maybe I should do this with last lines, except I worry that I'd be unhappy with half of them.)
schneefink: Parker grinning, from First David Job (Parker smiling before jumping off a buil)
- Most of us are un-petrified again! Yeah, so about that _most_ )

- Last week [personal profile] dhampyresa asked if it was too early to ship scorpion lady and medusa. After this week I definitely ship them. )

- Like in most fun sessions there was this moment when the party had a fantastic idea that made the DM face-palm. we played Pimp My Dragon )
schneefink: (Feldgatter)
Cramps today and I slept terribly, so I'm procrastinating. I still have a long list of fic from last year's Yuletide I want to rec; this is the "canons I don't/didn't know" edition because it's the shorter one.
(I haven't done any recs since July. I should set a goal maybe, at least one rec post per month.)

the hungry heart, the roving eye by [ profile] Wildehack (Road to El Dorado)
7k, multi, modern AU
Summary: “Do you have a job for us?” Miguel called out.
There was a suspicious pause. “No.”
“Better come back when you do, then,” Miguel said snidely, and there was a muffled thumping sound, like Tulio had let his head fall into the door.
Why I liked it: I haven't even seen the movie yet, even though it's been on my to-watch list for ages. I really like the Mr.&Mrs.Smith/Leverage background here, combined with the character dynamics.

win me, win me, an ye will by [ profile] Fahye (Sorcerer to the Crown/Miss Marjoribanks)
5k, gen, crossover
Summary: "I am forced to admit," said Lucilla Marjoribanks, holding the magical sword firmly with both hands, "that this is somewhat removed from my sphere of expertise."
Why I liked it: I'm not familiar with either book, but this was a delightful encounter with old-school fairies.

A Margaret Thatcher Kind of Night by [ profile] igrockspock (Brooklyn 99)
1.8k, Jake/Amy
Summary: Rules for having (sober) sex with the girl of your dreams for the first time:
1. Have condoms
2. Don't leave dishes in bed
3. Don't ask awkward questions about Margaret Thatcher
Guess how many of those Jake has broken tonight?
Why I liked it: After reading many stories about people having the best sex of their lives the first time they sleep with the person they've been pining after, reading about two people having slightly awkward first time sex is refreshing, and this is also funny and sweet.

Figuring It Out by [ profile] lonelywalker (Breakfast with Scot)
4k, gen, post-canon
Summary: Figure skating, proposals, raising a teenage boy... The list of things Eric doesn't know anything about just keeps getting longer.
Why I liked it: This is so sweet.
schneefink: (Fleury)
3 years, 3.75 AAV for Murray. Good for him.
In MY ideal hockey future the Pens trade Murray for a big return (he's cost-controlled for the next three years now, doesn't that make him a better trade asset?) and keep Flower. Flower still has many years of good play in him, and when he starts to decline the Pens' other goalie prospects will be ready.
I even think this would make sense from a management standpoint! I'd be willing to consider more outrageous proposals too, because I really really want Flower to stay in Pittsburgh. (Expose Murray in the expansion draft? Bad asset management but my heart says it's better than losing Flower.) He's their longest-tenured player, everyone loves him, he loves everyone, he's such a great guy. He was last season's team MVP and then the playoffs must have sucked so much for him (fuck you Nealer), he should get more chances to win a Cup with this team. Many more chances. And Cups. I want Flower to stay a Penguin forever, him and Sid and Geno and Tanger. (It'll be bad enough when Kuni leaves...)


schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)

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