Words!

Aug. 16th, 2017 10:52 pm
schneefink: (FF Kaylee excited)
I haven't written fic since *checks* May, huh. But then suddenly I got an idea, and now in the past three days I've written over three thousand words and it feels amazing. Story writing is a thing I can do! Oh man, I missed this feeling of getting words onto a page, instead of being stuck at the image-to-word conversion process in my brain.

Btw, I recently read a piece on writer's block that I liked a lot, So you're having a bad writing day: Consider: the act of telling a story is you CONJURING AN ENTIRE UNIVERSE INSIDE YOUR MIND and then using words as knives to CARVE THAT UNIVERSE INTO REALITY SO THAT OTHERS CAN VISIT YOUR IMAGINATION. “Today I am going to make a world out of my brain that you can go to in your spare time,” you say aloud, hopefully realizing that this is far more significant and far more bizarre than tying your shoes or blowing your nose.
Writing is hard, and that's okay. (Clearly prolific authors who update frequently are wizards.)
schneefink: (Kaylee with umbrella shiny)
I've been checking out the podcasts you guys recommended and it's been great. Eventually I'll make a longer list of those I liked, but for now I want to talk about "The Bright Sessions," a fiction podcast about a therapist for patients with unusual abilities. I quickly got attached to the characters, and then in season two the plot really took off. Originally I just wanted to make a few notes for a future rec, but by the middle of season 2 I was making notes for almost every episode, so now you get a long list of episode reactions to distract myself from the cliffhanger at the end of season 3.

Season 1 )

Season 2 )

Season 3 )

Season 4 in October! I really look forward to it. And there will be a TV adaption too, I'm very curious.
In the meantime I'm thinking about what fic I want for Yuletide, because it's the season of worrying about Yuletide nominations.
schneefink: (Kaylee with umbrella shiny)
I'll just assume you know the feeling of having found a bright shiny new thing that you want to tell everyone about but somehow it's really hard to find the words, and also writing why you like it also takes away time from consuming more of it. I just finished watching the "Akatsuki no Yona" anime (+OVAs) and I'm taking a brief break for some barely organized notes before I go and read all the manga chapters. (Also I should eat dinner, that would probably be good.)

Where to start? It has so many of my favorite tropes, especially when it comes to loyalty&betrayal. (A premise is not really a spoiler, right?) The dynamic between Yona, Hak, and Soo-won is fantastic. Yona herself is pretty great, and so is the whole team she assembles. And it looks like things will only get more and more political, yay.

With spoilers )
schneefink: Parker grinning, from First David Job (Parker smiling before jumping off a buil)
I found a new trick to motivate myself that so far (3 weeks in) works quite well :)
It's limited in scope, but pretty simple: my good friend LK, who is a geek but not in fandom, has wanted to read my fic for years, but I don't want him to (he completely lacks the frame of reference and I think it would be super awkward.) Soo when we recently talked about ways to motivate oneself and considered uncomfortable but not actually harmful forfeits... Every week I pick one task I really have to do, and if I don't manage it, I have to give him a list with titles of my fics, and he can pick any one that he can then read. *shudders* Some stories I wouldn't even mind so much if he read them, but since I don't know which he'll pick...
I told LB about it and he said he wants in, if I don't finish the task in the second week either I have to give him a title to pick too, which I want even less. (Awkward, but also I think I would be very embarrassed and disappointed if he didn't like my stories.)

So tonight I actually did apartment-related accounting instead of continuing to binge-watch Akatsuki no Yona (which I love so far, so many excellent tropes), look at me Adulting! Whatever works, right?

Thanks for the podcast recs, I look forward to trying them :)
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
I don't dislike my job, but it's often boring. Fortunately during much of it I can listen to other stuff. During the first few months I listened to many many Critical Role episodes, but now I'm caught up, so I need something new. I've been trying a few different things.

- Political comedy. There are a few I enjoy watching/listening to, like Samantha Bee, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, sometimes Trevor Noah. Is there something similar for European politics?, that could be fun.

- I tried other RPG videos or podcasts, but haven't been able to get into any. They all start pretty slow, so without recs from people whose taste I trust I'm unwilling to invest much time into it. (I heard good things about The Adventure Zone, but I'm not in the mood right now to listen to a men-only RPG.)

- Speaking of! Podcasts. I was looking for economics-focused podcasts and the vast majority of what I found was hosted by men. I found an article that said about 2/3rds of podcasts are hosted by men, that about fits what I saw and doesn't even take into account which topics the podcasts are about. DD and I wondered how much of that is because men are more used than women to people listening to whatever they say. I also still sometimes have to consciously train myself out of thinking that a woman's voice on the radio or on TV sounds "shrill" whenever she raises her voice and/or gets angry.
If anyone has recs for podcasts hosted by women, especially about economics and/or history, that would be welcome.

- I thought aboud podfic, but I usually get too frustrated by the fact that I know that I can read faster. Radio plays are different though. I was never that into WtNV, but I remembered that someone on DW (I forgot who) recced The Strange Case of Starship Iris. I liked it a lot, but unfortunately it only has 5 episodes and is currently on hiatus. Recs for radio plays would also be very welcome (but no horror, even though I think it's a genre that lends itself well to radio plays.)

- I also spent two days watching youtube videos about ancient battles. I now understand better why [personal profile] dhampyresa is so fascinated by Hannibal and Scipio ^^ Unfortunately battle plans need to be watched and I rarely have time for that.

- I had the idea to listen to Russian language learning podcasts, I found out that there are a few. Unfortunately I realized that while podcasts are okay to remember words I already knew once (I used to speak Russian at B1+, but I'm severely out of practice), I can't learn new words from listening. If I don't see how they're spelled I forget them almost immediately, which is frustrating. Russian also takes more concentration to listen to, which I don't always have.

I also sometimes just listen to Disney soundtracks on a loop when I don't have much concentration to spare, or radio. (I never listened to Ö3 before, but 2-3 weeks ago I realized how little attention the constantly repeating pop songs require.) But that sometimes feels close to wasting time – which is ridiculous when I'm at work, but still. I could be learning things or listen to actual stories! Not the whole time though, I'll try to find a balance, and in the meantime I'll try out more stuff.
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
During work I keep coming up with things I want to post about, and then when I'm home I'm too lazy and/or tired, similarly often on weekends. No vacation for me until September, most likely, but I told myself to pay attention and take a mental health day if I need it. I haven't been sick yet so I wouldn't feel bad about it.

D&D )

I recently found a book again that I'd searched for for years: "Bloodrights" by N. Lee Wood. I was prepared to be disappointed, but to my happy surprise I still like it a lot. It's harsher than I remembered, especially in regards to the cost of striving for power. The surprising reveal at the end made me look at much of it in a different way and made me like it even more. Yay trope subversion. Spoiler )
I liked Antonya and many of the other characters, and rereading the book now there are several scenes that I now much better understand the id buttons they pushed (esp. Kerrick & Morgan.) Also, something I'd forgotten about which was a nice surprise, queer people exist and are, while not completely normal, not a big deal.

Politics, because it's unavoidable: The current situation in Poland is scary, it shows how easily things like that can happen. That the protests appear to have had some success is encouraging but not more than a silver lining.
There are so many countries were democracy is under attack…
In Austria I'm trying to focus on the push-back against the surveillance program, but I'm scared about the new government after the next election. The outcome seems almost certain and it would be a bad one imo, but as we've recently seen in the UK a lot can change during an election campaign, so we'll see.
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
I recently reread one of my favorite fantasy series as a kid, the Märchenmond books by Wolfgang and Heike Hohlbein. (I only ever knew of three books, I recently found out that there is a fourth one but with a different main character. I haven't read it yet and I don't think I want to.) The title means "fairy tale moon", though the English translation is "Magic Moon," which for some reason sounds hilarious to me.

I was worried I wouldn't like the books anymore, but I reread them anyway because I had ideas for these characters for h/c bingo. (No idea why they came to mind after so long. Now after rereading I've discarded the original idea but I have another one, let's see if anything comes of it.) Unsurprisingly I don't like them as much as I did, but I can still see why I loved them and enjoy some elements, good enough for me.

As I half expected, I didn't much like the main character, who always becomes unexpectedly extremely wise in the last fifteen pages and makes a great speech; the special fighting skills were pretty much a given. Especially books 2 and 3 required a lot of work to ignore how silly the central conflict premise was so one could enjoy the rest of the plot. In all three books I really liked the secondary characters, they were a lot of fun. There were continuity problems from each book to the next, I did not expect that to annoy me as much as it did.
All in all I don't regret rereading the books, but probably won't do it again, at least not anytime soon.

Märchenmond )

Märchenmonds Kinder )

Märchenmonds Erben )


In apartment news, most of the construction site is gone! Originally it said end of July, so logically I expected it to last until the middle of August, and it finishing earlier than announced was a happy surprise.
Eva moved out today :( She'd only been here for three and a half months, but apart from DD she was my favorite flatmate so far and I'll miss her. We already found the next person, she'll move in in August. She seems nice too, but at least at her initial visit I found it not that easy to get into a conversation flow with her, I hope that'll get better and we'll get along well. We already know that she doesn't bake, that's a downgrade right from the start ;) DD and I decided to bake more often (and also make more lemonade), I hope we'll actually manage to keep to that.
schneefink: (FF River and Kaylee)
As a distraction from the (partially justified) anxiety about all the things I should be doing, have a rec.

Friends Across Borders by [archiveofourown.org profile] MueraRashaye (Valdemar series)
316k, gen, canon-compliant & OC-centric, series in progress (9 stories completed + 1 WIP)
Summary: Two long-time enemy nations can't become meaningful allies overnight. Stories from the lives of a border-guard Herald and Sunpriest, from their first meeting to the end, and insights into just how Karse and Valdemar were able to turn around their relationship so fast.
What I knew about canon beforehand: In a country named Valdemar some people have special magical Gifts and they are soulbonded to magical white horses.
Why I love it: Enemies to friends <3 More precisely, technically-enemies to brothers on a personal scale leads to enemies to allies on a national scale. The friendship between Firestarter Kir and Herald Anur is so wonderful, and it's great to see the ripples they cause spread outwards. I also really like all the stuff about Karsite culture, cultural difference and culture change etc.; obviously I can't say how much of it is canon and how much is the author's own worldbuilding, but it's beautifully done. Kir also has a very nice atonement storyline.

I then decided to check out canon, which previously I'd only known through vaguely remembered crossovers/fusions with other fandoms (one with SGA and one with Rurouni Kenshin) that I read years ago. I knew that canon was about very different characters and even a different country, but I decided to at least try some books in the series, so I read the "Last Herald Mage" trilogy. It was… okay? I would have loved the books when I was fifteen. The plot was OTT dramatic several times, but sometimes I don't mind that very much. The romance in the first book made me roll my eyes a bit, but hey, teenagers. The second book was tough to get through at times because the portrayals of exhaustion of loneliness were very well done. In the third book spoilers )
I liked the fic series a lot better than canon though, so after finishing the books I read the fic again (for the third time. What. And it is free! I love fandom.)
schneefink: (FF River and Kaylee)
The latest season of Natsume Yuujinchou has been over for a few weeks, but I find it hard to talk about it because most of the time I just want to go "<333". I like it very much, is what I'm saying, and I find it hard to explain why for some reason, idk. Nice and warm and many feelings.

Some short episode reaction notes )

Fic recs:
like religion by [archiveofourown.org profile] WerewolvesAreReal
6.9k, gen, futurefic
Summary: Natsume would like to make it clear that this is all the dog's fault.
(OR: how to become a god, by accident).
Why I like it: This would happen to Natsume :D Lovely.
The same author wrote another futurefic, haunting, softly, in which Natsume dies and nobody notices, it is also very good but unsurprisingly sadder.

So the castle that we built won't cave by [archiveofourown.org profile] Taisi
1.8k, gen
Summary: The last time he remembers feeling this protective was probably back on the day he and Kitamoto taught Natsume how to ride a bicycle, those pleasant hours of late afternoon that swept by so fast. He had been unprepared for how thin Natsume’s shoulders would be, how fragile his back would feel under Nishimura’s hands.
Why I like it: This author has a tag "Natsume Protection Squad" and it's the best. This one is probably my favorite but go and read all of them. never mind the bus fare is another one of theirs I like a lot, it has Nishimura with a giant crush on Natsume, it's very sweet.

London?

Jul. 9th, 2017 10:51 pm
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
Good news: my work contract will be extended :) I don't know exactly for how long yet, but probably the end of the year or nearly.

Bad news: I just found out that I won't get vacation time in the week when I really wanted it. No choir week this summer for me :(
So I obviously need alternatives, and I'm thinking of going to London. I've only been twice, each time only for a few days with not that much time for sight-seeing, and that was five years ago. I definitely want to go again, also because it'll be less easy in two years.
Downside: I would have to plan things. Ah well, I'll manage.

But before I make any definitive plans, questions:
- I found out that in early August the Nine Worlds convention is in London. I've never been to a big convention! Or any, really. Has anyone been? Is it fun? Is it overwhelming for people with no con experience?
- London has a large selection of musicals and plays and I heard many are quite good. Any you would recommend?
- Any other London/surroundings summer travel tips? (Or early fall, maybe, idk. Ugh, planning.)

Lost books

Jul. 5th, 2017 09:57 pm
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
There is a new [community profile] findthatbook comm, which you should all check out, especially the post I immediately made about that one book I've wanted to reread for years now. I know what the cover looked like and the entire plot outline - finding out that the "lost heir to the kingdom" knew all along that she wasn't the true heir but just pretended so that she could take over is still among my favorite plot twists - but so far no luck.

Edit: I found it! Thanks to /r/whatsthatbook, always good to try multiple sources. It's "Bloodrights" by N. Lee Wood. I read it so long ago that I have no idea if it's actually any good, but I look forward to finding out.
schneefink: (FF River and Kaylee)
When our roommate Eva told us last week that she is moving out in July, because she is dropping her study program in Vienna for health reasons (the right decision for her but sad for us) we decided to do something together this Sunday. Originally we wanted to a) visit the museum for magic boxes (what's the English term for those boxes with a bunch of magic tricks in them?), but it turned out we were all too lazy on a Sunday morning, and b) play a board game; but then we found out that Eva has never read or seen Lord of the Rings so of course we had to watch the first movie. It's been a while since I watched it, it was fun.

For lunch we made delicious spinach strudel with field salad, then we had ice cream, and because I still had lemons left over from when I needed lemon zest for muffins last week I decided to make homemade lemonade, which for some reason I'd never done before. It was great! We definitely have to do that more often.

Yesterday I went to lunch with friends and then went swimming with LB, it was beautiful. Tomorrow Eva, DD and I will watch the second Lord of the Rings movie, DD will make brownies and there will be more lemonade. Tuesday is movie night with LB and friends and there will be home-made pizza. I feel pretty lucky :)
schneefink: (Hängebrücke)
Ghosts
1.3k, gen, Lin Chen & Meng Zhi, time travel
Summary: "How do you know everything?"
"Be my disciple at Langya Hall for three years, I guarantee you will know more things too."

I wrote this months ago, and it was originally planned to be much longer. Even after I decided to shorten it I was never quite satisfied with it. I decided to post it anyway instead of hiding it on my hard drive because hey, if one person enjoys reading it *shrugs* I couldn't get the idea out of my head since the second time I watched the scene with the quotes from the summary.
schneefink: (ahsoka)
I'm currently watching new Critical Role episodes every Tuesday, because I'm too lazy to look up how to watch them earlier (yes I know this is a stupid excuse), and anyways weekends are usually busy. Usually I almost manage to avoid spoilers, emphasis on almost.
Before the next episode, have some miscellaneous notes and reactions from the past few.

Episodes 95-102 )

I'm not really in Critical Role fandom, partly for time reasons and partly I'm not sure why, but the fandom has great resources and amazing fanart. The fanart showcase during the episode break is always one of my favorite parts.
Speaking of resources, here is a list by [tumblr.com profile] eponymous-rose of some more great scenes with direct links.

Theories about what will happen next: Spoilers up to 102, obviously )
Most of all, I'll let myself be surprised and love it :)
schneefink: (Feldgatter)
Instead of one of the many posts that I keep planning to make and then don't find the time for, have a sample of things currently occupying my brain.

- The latest season of Natsume Yuujinchou just ended and it was great and I love this anime so much.
- The only "TV" show I'm currently watching is Critical Role, the new episodes and also the early ones that I've been catching up on. The early ones are fun, the new ones are very exciting. 102: [spoiler spoiler]!!
- I have started calling politicians about stuff. This makes me anxious (but so does politics as a whole, so) and is frustrating but at least I'm trying to do something? A tiny little bit? There was a demo last weekend but I missed it because of terrible time management.
(And that is only local politics, got to start somewhere. International? Holy shit.)
- Our newest flatmate is already moving out again :( She's dropping out of her study program and moving back to Germany. Definitely the right decision for her, but sad for me and DD, we really liked her. Also she baked well.
- Last weekend was my mom's 50th birthday party and LB and I wrote a poem. Writing poems is difficult but kinda fun, and it was well received.
- There are so many recs I want to post. This would probably be easier if I would post them one or two at a time, but from somewhere in SGA fandom I got the idea that rec sets have to be a minimum of three recs, which is annoying. (Maybe I should post a poll asking you guys which recs you would be most interested in. Also, ticky boxes.)
- Other things I watched/read that I haven't yet posted about include the Last Herald of Valdemar series, Zootopia, Disney's Hercules, Lilo&Stitch; and of course the latest few D&D sessions (we'll go to the world disc's underside to blow up the evil gods' vaults next session, also I now have an undead minion.)
- Flower went to Vegas, and then weird trades happened and people got very pissed off about it, and to sum up sports fandom is kind of silly.
- I'm not always happy with how many things I manage to do, but despite the heat I've gone running again twice in the past week (at midnight), at least that's good. I've also gone swimming a few times, every time I visit my parents, which is always great.
- I'm barely writing anything right now and not happy with it, so I signed up for h/c bingo in the hopes of finding some inspiration. I have some ideas, now I just need to find the motivation to actually sit down and write them.
- Overall I feel mostly good :)

Extended versions of some of these probably to come later. Maybe. (Better tell me if you're interested in anything in particular.)
Ten minutes after I post this I will think of five things I forgot to add, but hopefully I will have already gone to bed then so I won't get little sleep again. Right now I feel like rambling about anything and everything, definitely time for sleep.
schneefink: (ahsoka)
I saw Wonder Woman yesterday, and I enjoyed it a lot. One of my favorite superhero movies so far, though I can't say how much of that is because of how wonderful it felt to watch a movie about a female superhero. Spoilers )

Usually I would go back and read many reaction posts/reviews of the movie by other people now, but I work full-time now and there are fewer hours in the day and it's very annoying. Still no time machine. (Though to be fair if I had a time machine there would be more important things to do than go back a few hours every day just so I have more free time.)
schneefink: (Fleury)
The Pittsburgh Penguins have won the Stanley Cup! :D

What a great team. Lucky too, that's always part of it, and this team had a good dose of it this playoff run (apart from the fact that Tanger was injured), especially considering how often they were outshot. Last year's team probably played better. But hey, if you have two of the best players in the world and a few other good forwards and very good goalies it matters less that your defense is held together with duct tape. Second consecutive Conn Smythe for Sid. I did not at all expect a Cup win at the start of this season, or at the start of the playoffs, or several times during the playoffs, but I'll take it :D

(Sidenote, staying up to watch the game has more negative side effects when I need to go to work the next day. Worth it though.)

Aaaand soon the expansion draft. Hopefully it will be exciting, and hopefully Flower ends up somewhere good. So happy for him that he could play & win two series this spring. Flower giving the Cup to Murray was a great moment.
schneefink: picture of Relena looking at the viewer (GW Relena)
A poll about fic reading habits, because I'm curious.

(I'm posting a survey without testing it first, I keep flashing back to the semester-long seminar Don't Do That as well as the myriad real life examples of why this is bad. Fortunately this is not scientific.)

Poll #18459 Fic reading preferences
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 58


Do you read fanfic?

View Answers

Yes, often
33 (56.9%)

Yes, sometimes
8 (13.8%)

Yes, with varying frequency
14 (24.1%)

Yes, rarely
2 (3.4%)

No
1 (1.7%)

Other or more details:

What kind of fics do you like to read?

View Answers

Only finished stories or series
3 (5.3%)

Only finished stories, but ongoing series
16 (28.1%)

Finished stories, and WIPs only if there's a regular update schedule
9 (15.8%)

Finished stories, and WIPs only if I trust the author to finish the story eventually
9 (15.8%)

Finished stories and WIPs, preferably finished stories
19 (33.3%)

Finished stories and WIPs, preferably WIPs
0 (0.0%)

Finished stories and WIPs, no preference
1 (1.8%)

Only WIPs
0 (0.0%)

Other or more detail:

I read fic for...

View Answers

fandoms I know
57 (100.0%)

fandoms I've heard of or know vaguely
35 (61.4%)

fandoms I don't know
17 (29.8%)

Other or more details:

When looking for new fic, I...

View Answers

look at new works for my fandoms on AO3
40 (70.2%)

look at new works for my fandoms in other places, e.g. Tumblr or ff.net
6 (10.5%)

browse tags on AO3
37 (64.9%)

browse bookmarking services, e.g. pinboard
12 (21.1%)

follow recs
48 (84.2%)

go through my backlog of "to read" bookmarks
20 (35.1%)

Other, please elaborate
8 (14.0%)

Other or more details:

schneefink: (FF Kaylee excited)
Things that are probably not interesting to anyone except our D&D group, but that I still want to tell my friends about because it's cool and I'm excited: details from last night's battle. We came in like a wreeeecking ball )

We really wanted to finish this fight, so we played until past 4am :)
Next time is our 50th session of this campaign, I should make our DM a cake.
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
"Chameleon Moon" by RoAnna Sylver was recommended to me, I forgot where, as very optimistic apocafic, so I decided to give it a try. The cover is very pretty. I loved all the characters, but unfortunately the worldbuilding and the plot had holes.
Spoilers )


And then instead of more books I'm reading Naruto AUs again, not sure why. This fandom has so many long what-if AUs, it's amazing. I haven't even watched the anime for probably 15 years, and even then not often. There's just something very appealing about magical ninja idfic, it seems.


Most recent D&D campaign developments: Saints )

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