Taken from elle-white

Jul. 21st, 2017 06:10 pm
cypsiman2: I still believe in my dreams (Default)
[personal profile] cypsiman2
Name a topic you would like me to discuss and I will tell you My Thoughts for at least 100 words!

Opera meme!

Jul. 21st, 2017 12:08 pm
cypsiman2: I still believe in my dreams (Default)
[personal profile] cypsiman2
Give me a fandom and a prompt, and I will write a fic with that prompt where the characters sing all their lines like they're in an opera!
havocthecat: the lady of shalott (Default)
[personal profile] havocthecat
For anyone who might be interested, Pixar has Pixar in a Box on Khan Academy.

It's primarily directed at film writing, but I think it can be used for all types of narrative storytelling. I've been listening to The Art of Storytelling video series.

It starts out with "We are all storytellers," (I'm there still) which I think is an admirable point and has a number of their creators talking about their amateur efforts and how they got started, like Betty and Veronica fashion fanart. :)

It leads to characterization and story structure, and while I don't know that visual language is going to be terribly helpful to us print writers, it might give good ideas for descriptions of scenery to go around dialogue. There are also lessons and activities that you can do, should you choose.

(I can't find closed captions on Khan Academy, though. That's my one quibble thus far.)

One of my favorite pieces of writing advice is still this graphic: Pixar's 22 Rules of Storytelling.

No, I'm not saying they have to be YOUR rules too. I'm just saying I find the list as a useful set of way to help me go through one of my stories and figure out what's not working and what I need to do to make it work. Or sometimes, for me to just let go and stopy worrying at something, and maybe come back to it later.

(no subject)

Jul. 20th, 2017 05:36 pm
skygiants: Fakir from Princess Tutu leaping through a window; text 'doors are for the weak' (drama!!!)
[personal profile] skygiants
Death of a Pirate: British Radio and the Making of the Information Age is a fairly fascinating book that's trying to do a lot of things at once: the book starts out with the dramatic recounting of MURDER!!! and then immediately takes, if not a deep dive, at least a vigorous swim through such varied topics as the history of British radio and the BBC, Keynesian economic philosophy, copyright limitations, and the founding of Sealand in order to contextualize it.

Once we get back to the story of the murder itself, however, it turns out: IT'S BONKERS. The principals in the case are two pirate radio impresarios in 1966. Oliver Smedley, An Ardent Free-Trade Capitalist, was running a station called Radio Atlanta on a boat off the coast; Reggie Calvert, A Dance Hall Impresario, had taken over an entire abandoned British navy fort called Shivering Sands in the Thames Estuary and staffed it with a rotating encampment of youths running a station called Radio City. At one point Smedley and Calvert were going to have a merger, but then they had an ACRIMONIOUS BREAKUP spurred on in part by:

- the fact that Smedley was supposed to give Calvert a shiny new transmitter and instead provided an old one that never worked
- the fact that Smedley never paid all the bills he had promised Calvert that Radio Atlanta would pay
- the fact that Calvert got sick of all this and decided to merge with another station instead

The reason for all these pirate radio stations on boats and naval forts, by the way, is because in 1966 there was no legal pop radio in the UK (as explained, extensively, via the history of radio and Keynesian economic theory etc. that makes up the first half of the book). Because the pirates were technically outside of UK territory, on the other hand, they could technically get away with doing whatever they wanted, or at least the government like "it will be way too embarrassing to launch a huge naval raid against a bunch of youths on was a fort with a radio transmitter, so let's not."

HOWEVER, the fact that everything was happening outside of territorial waters where British laws and police had no jurisdiction BACKFIRED when:

- Ardent Free-Trade Capitalist Smedley decided he was so mad that Calvert had made a deal without him that he was going to MAKE SURE that the deal could never go through
- he was going to GET BACK HIS PROPERTY [the transmitter that had never worked]
- so he sent an ACTUAL OCCUPYING FORCE composed of out-of-work dockworkers to Shivering Sands, stole a bunch of key broadcasting equipment, took a bunch of it back to the mainland, and left a bunch of toughs to hold everybody who was on the station at that time hostage!!!
- (when they met the invading force, the hostage broadcasters were like 'welp' and made everybody tea)
- ("the vessel had to return briefly to pick up [the contractor who recruited the gang], who had been left behind drinking his tea")
- and then Smedley went to Calvert and his partner, an actual professional broadcaster, and was like 'I will not let you broadcast from there again or finish making your deal unless you pay me FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS'

Naturally, everyone involved was like 'wtf????' and refused to pay Smedley a dime; Calvert threatened to involve the police but the police were like 'ummmmmm technically we can't do anything for the same reasons we haven't been able to stop you from broadcasting;' Calvert then made a whole bunch of other even wilder threats; and all the hired dockworkers sat around cheerfully charging Smedley for hostaging operations which he was rapidly running out of money for.

Anyway, in the middle of all this, Calvert drove out to Smedley's house in the middle of the night and started screaming at him, and Smedley shot him and then claimed self-defense and that his HOSTILE OCCUPATION OF A POP RADIO STATION was just a little joke gone wrong! No harm no foul if only Calvert hadn't been so UPSET about it! It did help Smedley's self-defense case that Calvert happened to be carrying A FAKE PEN FULL OF NERVE GAS at the time, which apparently, according to his family, he always carried around just for safekeeping.

...so the author's point in writing about all this seems to be that a.) this incident was crucial in getting the pirate radio boats shut down and the formation of the current BBC radio system that includes actual pop radio, b.) that this is all a forerunner of later copyright battles and offshore data centers and so on, c.) pirate-radio-on-boats in the 1960s was a WILD TIME. About the latter, at least, he is most surely not mistaken.

(This has nothing to do with the main brunt of the book but I have to spare a mention for Radio City's chief engineer, who later was hired by the mob! to perform an assassination attempt!! using a spring-loaded hypodermic needle full of cyanide!!! in what it turns out was ACTUALLY a sting operation by the U.S. Treasury department who picked the hapless Radio City engineer to act as the assassin because "he needed the fee while being clearly incapable of killing anybody"!!!! This whole incident gets two pages in the book because it's somewhat irrelevant to the author's argument but seriously, where is this guy's movie?

For the record, the same mobsters then tried to intimidate Reggie Calvert's widow into selling them the remnants of the station and she was like 'lol no' and they were like '....well, when a lady knows her own mind, she knows her own mind! No hard feelings.')
havocthecat: the lady of shalott (Default)
[personal profile] havocthecat
ETA: Logged out and gone to sleep. Good night, all!

I'm going to be trying to figure out what city I should be setting my urban fantasy in. (Or at least, what it should be an analogue to, geography-wise.)

I'll be on Discord for a couple of hours, if anyone wants to join me:

https://discord.gg/w9PK3Yg

(This time I'll remember to edit the post to say when I log off Discord!)
naye: a picture of a path and the words "get over your hill and see what you find there" (get over your hill)
[personal profile] naye
Things we've been watching

We just finished March Comes in Like A Lion season 1 and I am so glad there's a second season coming because this show has shot to the top of my All Time Favorite list. (Which is hard to do! It's a crowded list!) It's so sweet and warm and genuine. It's a slice of life show about people who have suffered and been messed up and are dealing (or not dealing) in various ways and although there's a lot of heavy themes it has such amazing heart. Love it.

Skuld's been watching Master of None and I watch along. It's definitely hit or miss with me. The first season was fun, it has absolutely shining moments. The Thanksgiving episode with Denise coming out was powerful stuff, but the whole will they/won't they straight romance with a side of cheating is boring and hits Bad Buttons so I'm not too impressed with the second season overall.

Tour de Pharmacy (in UK: Pharmacy Road) a silly Adam Samberg HBO special docudrama thing that takes the piss out of cycling in general and the Tour the France in particular was funny. And exceedingly ridiculous. But also funny - and Daveed Diggs had a big part in it so extra love for that!

Twin Peaks: The Return continues to be a tour the force for Lynch & Frost. It's beautiful and unsettling and does things its own way for its own reasons and I adore it for that. We usually watch each episode twice, and in the hiatus after episode 8 we rewatched 1-7 again, so that's three viewings so far and I still don't get bored of it. (Frustrated, yes. Bored? No.)

And since we were on a Twin Peaks kick we finally got around to watching Mulholland Drive and. Yes. That is certainly... a film? I'm not sure what I watched, or why, but it's been a lot of fun discussing it with Skuld and reading/listening to analyses and theories. I'd actually like to rewatch it? Because while I didn't love it, I did find it a really interesting experience.

HOT FUZZ. Because we ran out of other things we were in the mood to watch and we both love this movie to bits. We put it on a random Tuesday night and were late to bed because Hot Fuzz. For all the reasons. Including, of course, the thing Edgar Wright summed up in his famous 2009 tweet:

@edgarwright Me and @simonpegg once wrote some Nicholas Angel and Danny Butterman slash fiction. It was called HOT FUZZ…(applause)

More from Twitter, with fanart )

Things I've read
The Girl with Ghost Eyes (Xian Li-lin, #1)The Girl with Ghost Eyes by M.H. Boroson

Oh no! I really, really wanted to love this. And it had a bunch of ingredients I like. But... they never really came together for me. I think it's a me thing rather than a book thing, and I don't feel I can write a proper review. I mean: the books does have a lot of fascinating themes, Li-lin is an interesting character, and the world is quite vividly drawn. I don't know why it still fell flat for me.


What's next?
I've got new volumes of Vinland Saga and Princess Jellyfish manga to read, and I've got the latest Raksura and Queen's Thief books all queued up on my reader. I just need to find something that drags me back into reading, because with all the Real Life excitement recently my attention span has grown short and my anxiety looms large and it's making it hard for me to focus on words and other worlds...

(no subject)

Jul. 17th, 2017 08:54 pm
skygiants: C-ko the shadow girl from Revolutionary Girl Utena in prince drag (someday my prince will come)
[personal profile] skygiants
[personal profile] genarti read The Privilege of the Sword for the first time recently, because I had been telling her to since 2008, and then kept trying to talk to me about it. Unfortunately at this point I did not remember most of the things she was trying to talk to me about because I hadn't read it since 2007, so eventually I also had to reread it in self-defense.

It turns out this is still and probably will always be my favorite Ellen Kushner book. The central plotline follows Katherine, a cheerful young lady who gets invited to restore the family fortunes by going to live with her incredibly weird uncle in the big city and becoming a swordsman!

Unlike many plucky heroines, Katherine does not initially have really any interest at all in cross-dresing or becoming a swordsman. However, eventually she comes to enjoy swordfighting for its own sake, helped along by the mentorship of her incredibly weird uncle's nice ex-boyfriend, the necessity of dueling for a friend's honor, and the discovery that bisexuality and gender fluidity are potentially relevant concepts to her teen coming-of-age story.

...that's the A-plot! B, C, D, E, and F plots include:

- Katherine's mom's reparation of her relationship with Katherine's weird uncle
- Katherine's weird uncle's actress girlfriend's dreamy new cross-dressing fantasy Broadway show
- Katherine's weird uncle's unfortunate friendship breakup with his mathematician bestie
- Katherine's bff's attempts to overcome trauma from rape-by-fiance by engaging in romantic gay roleplay via letter-writing
- Katherine's other bff's attempts to overcome trauma from an abusive childhood by engaging in competitive voyeurism
- Katherine's bff's gigolo cousin's star-crossed romance with a scriptwriter/potter who is on the run from her abusive in-laws who do not appear in this book
- trade routes?? politics?????

I'm pretty sure that's not all the plots. There are so many plots in this book. It's fine because the plots are barely the point at best, the point is coming-of-age and life after trauma and thumbing your nose at Societal Conventions while getting to know and like yourself! I especially enjoy how in the end, spoilers )

(Note: emo murderous Alec from Swordspoint drives me up a wall in his own book, but is significantly more tolerable to me when he's just Katherine's incredibly weird uncle. I mean he still drives me up a wall here but it's much funnier when he's driving everyone else up a wall too.)

another meme

Jul. 17th, 2017 02:00 pm
flamingstumpy: (fma º i will always remember you!)
[personal profile] flamingstumpy
Send me a character, and I’ll answer:

How do I feel about this character:
What do I like/admire about this character:
What do I dislike about this character:
Favourite moment for this character:
Who I ship romantically with this character and why:
Who are my platonic ships for this character and why:
Things done in fanfiction with this character that annoy me:
Things done in fanfiction with this character I want to see more of:

Doctor Who (and St. Trinian's)

Jul. 17th, 2017 10:59 am
havocthecat: polly (red-haired geek with glasses) and celia (blonde loner) of st. trinian's (st trinians polly/celia)
[personal profile] havocthecat
The best part of the Doctor Who casting announcement is that it opens up EVEN MORE amazing possibilities for horrifyingly beautiful St. Trinian's crossovers.

"Oh, Beverly!" called Miss Fritton from her office, leaning over and waving one hand. Beverly could see one her out of the corner of one eye.

"Yeah, miss!"

"What's that little knobbly thingummy you're pointing at the door?"

"It's a sonic screwdriver, miss!"

"What's it for?"

"Nothing, miss!" There was Dalek invasion and the First Years were busy lobbing explosives from the tower while Beverly - the Doctor, really, but she'd been undercover for years and thought of herself as Beverly still - remodulated the alarm system to broadcast a frequency that would short-circuit their disruptor beams. The Daleks, not the First Years.

Though Beverly privately thought the First Years infinitely more dangerous to let loose upon the human race than the Daleks, but she did have standards after all, and centuries of enmity with the Daleks to uphold.

"So what you're saying," said Miss Fritton, appearing in her doorway with an empty bottle of vodka in one hand, "is that we're out of vodka and you forgot to stock up, is that it?"

"Get the gin, miss," said Beverly, holding back a sigh.

Taken from elle-white

Jul. 16th, 2017 05:01 pm
cypsiman2: I still believe in my dreams (Default)
[personal profile] cypsiman2
Send me a character, and I’ll answer:

How do I feel about this character:

What do I like/admire about this character:

What do I dislike about this character:

Favourite moment for this character:

Who I ship romantically with this character and why:

Who are my platonic ships for this character and why:

Things done in fanfiction with this character that annoy me:

Things done in fanfiction with this character I want to see more of:
naye: (new beginnings)
[personal profile] naye
There's so much to do for an international move. We've started looking at pet transport, moving quotes, new furniture... It gets pretty overwhelming when taken all at once. But it should be manageable. We can do it, little by little.

It'll get easier when (when, not "if", because I have to let myself hope) can confirm that we can get one of the apartments were're eyeing. They're new builds, which is why we have a shot without spending the usual 2-3 years on housing waiting lists before getting anything but a short-term sublet.

Apartment blathering )

So many things we want to start planning, and so many hopes pinned on this block of flats... and we just don't know if we'll get one. We literally don't know what is required to start a tenancy application. I emailed the landlord/builder rep, and of course they're on vacation now, because that's how Sweden rolls. So there's nobody in the office until the week before I go to the showing.

I keep having anxious moments when I'm sure they will be ALL OUT OF APARTMENTS and we'll be stuck chasing short-term second hand leases where we won't be allowed to bring our cats and it would be a total nightmare. I don't think that's true - they would hardly invite people for a showing if they didn't have any flats left to let - but what if. Agh. *fret fret fret fret*

There are just too many factors in this I can't control, and until those are settled my anxiety/stress levels will be unusually high and that's just. My life now. But fingers crossed?!

Another completely unrelated thing I can't control is the fact that Instagram's embeds don't work here. :/ I've logged a support request, but of course that's somewhere around priority #4987 for the Dreamwidth staff.

See, this is what shows up when I use Instagram's Embed:

Cut for waste of space )

But I've been wanting to share some of the pics I've been posting, and I won't let a giant technical issue I can't solve stop that. I... uh. I've been screencapping my Instagram posts and uploading them to DW...? It's the silliest workaround ever, but it gives me something to do that isn't obsess about how hard life will be if we can't get one of those apartments!

Preview:



Some awkwardly crossposted Instagram pics )

(no subject)

Jul. 16th, 2017 09:37 am
skygiants: Nellie Bly walking a tightrope among the stars (bravely trotted)
[personal profile] skygiants
Rose Melikan's The Blackstone Key is one of the few books I've grabbed at random off a library shelf recently without ever having heard of it. Then I immediately grabbed the next two books, The Counterfeit Guest and The Mistaken Wife, so I guess they were doing something right, although also several things not right.

These books are deeply fluffy YA-ish Regency espionage hijinks starring Mary Finch, an impoverished orphan schoolteacher turned (by the end of the first book) surprise heiress with an unexpectedly encyclopedic knowledge of British law and an enthusiastic penchant for Adventures! !! !!!

Captain Holland, the series love interest, is an artillery officer who is good at mechanics and up on new military technologies. Other salient characteristics include:
- a terrible tendency towards sea- and carriage-sickness
- an ongoing resentful inability to understand all the clever literary and historical references being tossed around by the rest of the characters
- CONSTANT MONEY STRESS

I'll be honest, he won me over during the first book when Mary's like "am I a bad person for worrying about how the outcome of all this espionage will affect my potential inheritance?" and he's like "DEFINITELY NOT, if anybody tells you they don't stress about money THEY ARE LYING."

Rose Melikan is a scholar of the period and very good on British military history. She is not so good on plot. The first book is complete, hilariously convoluted nonsense involving SMUGGLERS and CIPHERS and MYSTERIOUS WATCHES and a SURPRISE CHANCE-MET DYING VILLAIN. It turns out that spoilers )

The second book is probably my favorite and definitely the least nonsense plot-wise; it's about the 1797 naval mutinies, and Our Heroine gets recruited to spy on a plotter because she happens to know his wife and will likely be in his house, which does not stretch suspension of disbelief too very wildly. (It's also sort of entertaining to watch the author do a careful dance between what I suspect is a personal sympathy for unionization and strike tactics and the fact that Mass Military Mutiny Is Definitely A Bad Thing, Our Characters Must Stop It At Any Cost.)

...then in Book Three we are expected to believe that an actual professional spy sees no better alternative for an important espionage mission than taking a well-known youthful heiress and society figure whose salient skills are, as aforementioned, a knowledge of British law and an enthusiasm for Adventure, and sneaking her off to Paris in a fake marriage with a clueless American painter while her respectable household desperately tries to pretend she's in London the whole time. At this point suspension of disbelief goes straight out the window again.

I have mixed feelings about Book Three in general; it's the darkest of the three and several sympathetic characters die as a direct result of Our Heroes' espionage endeavors including infuriating spoiler ) I'm not here for that! I'M HERE FOR THE HIJINKS.

Character headcanon meme.

Jul. 15th, 2017 06:30 pm
cypsiman2: I still believe in my dreams (Default)
[personal profile] cypsiman2
Send me the name of a character and I will tell you my:

1: sexuality headcanon

2: otp

3: brotp

4: notp

5: first headcanon that pops into my head

6: one way in which I relate to this character

7: thing that gives me second hand embarrassment about this character

8: cinnamon roll or problematic fave?

Baby Driver

Jul. 15th, 2017 10:39 pm
naye: (the great elsewhere)
[personal profile] naye
I always love Edgar Wright's directing - Hot Fuzz is one of my all-time favorite movies - so now that he's got a new movie out I didn't even watch a trailer before buying tickets.

Baby Driver is a fun movie, with absolutely amazing directing. And not just "directing" in the sense of telling the actors what to do, but - the opening credits list a choreographer. Pretty much all the music is diegetic - it's heard and experienced in-universe. The same is true for the sound design.

It's such a joyful experience to watch a beautifully crafted scene where everything is integrated to the point of fight scenes where the guns go off in time with the background soundtrack, and the editing is as beautiful as anything in a high quality fanvid.

Here are the first six minutes of the film so you can see what I'm talking about:



Oh and one thing I really loved was seeing the main character speak a lot of sign language with his foster dad, who was a very sweet and sympathetic figure, and the ASL was just there no big deal. Very nicely done, and an unexpected and much-needed bit of representation. (The actor who plays the foster dad is Deaf, too.)

That said... It was not without issues, and I'm not as head over heels for it as a lot of other people.

Some more thoughts )
havocthecat: wagon tracks in the midwest (places landscape midwest)
[personal profile] havocthecat
The thing I like about this is Lifehacker article is that it explains the various problems with gluten that people have, and also it lies heavily on the "don't be a jerk if you think someone is a 'faker' with their gluten sensitivity" principle. Which. DON'T BE A JERK ABOUT PEOPLE'S FOOD ISSUES. Whether you think they're faking it or not isn't really the important thing.

Also it's just a really good article that's in the Celiac 101/Gluten 101 vein.

Here's the Deal with Gluten

Fun obscure niche JRPG from the 90's.

Jul. 13th, 2017 10:22 pm
cypsiman2: I still believe in my dreams (Default)
[personal profile] cypsiman2
There's a game that I really, really like from when I was a kid called Paladin's Quest. It's a SNES JRPG which plays like just about any other; turn-based combat, equipping items to adjust stats, altering party formation so that the tougher party members are up front, but it's the little things that make the difference.

For starters, the game's art style is unique; it uses pastel color schemes and french science-fantasy inspired aesthetics, so that everything looks and feels fresh. Then there's how magic works; there's no MP, all spells you cast come out of your HP and every time you cast a spell you increase your power with the spirits associated with that spell, ultimately increasing your overall power. Overall, this means that your characters are going to be casting new spells regularly throughout the game to develop your spirit affinities as efficiently as possible, which makes things pretty interesting, and the fact that your casting out of your HP means that you need to be more thoughtful about your magic. And of course, no healing spells. Healing is handled via refillable potion bottles of varying degrees of power and so managing your healing resources is also important.

Overall, it's a pretty fun game and if you at all enjoy old-school JRPGs, I'd definitely give it a shot.
havocthecat: the lady of shalott (Default)
[personal profile] havocthecat
Glow is getting less attention than Wonder Woman, but this article is reminding me a lot of the articles about the Amazons working in the background of Wonder Woman - or what would have happened if they'd hired non-athletes and trained them to be athletes for Wonder Woman.

'Glow' Star Betty Gilpin: What It's Like to Have Pea-Sized Confidence With Watermelon-Sized Boobs

Anyone seen it? What do you think? Alison Brie is in it, and I loved her in Community.

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