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Silver Adept
09 September 2013 @ 08:41 pm
I welcome all of the following types of comments on ANY of my entries:
  • Single or two word comments, e.g. , woo!, yay, yes, no, please, thanks, absolutely, agreed, seconded, so much, no way, etc.
  • "+1" or Facebook style "like".
  • Otherwise brief comments, e.g. single sentences.
  • A comment that is a punctuation mark(s) to let me know you read, e.g. a period, an asterisk.
  • A comment that is a punctuation mark(s) to express your response, e.g. an exclamation mark or question mark.
  • A comment that is an emoticon(s) to express your response, e.g. \o/, <3, :), :(, :-D, :-P, etc.
  • Long, wordy comments. Rambling is totally okay.
  • Comments and links on related topics.
  • Comments on single links, entities, paragraphs, topics, or words in the entry. I throw out a lot of things each entry, and I don't expect anyone to have to come up with a coherent comment on each and every one of them to comment.
  • Sequential commentary. It's totally okay to comment about one thing as you read it, then another thing in a separate comment, then a third thing after you've chewed on it for a while and feel ready to talk about it.
  • Incoherent comments. It’s all good. I would rather have you here and showing interest,, even if it's just a *flail*, than for you to stay silent because you are afraid or unable to get the perfect comment out.
  • Talking amongst yourselves in the comments is fine. I like creating a place where people get to interact!

I also welcome:

  • Comments on older entries, access-locked or public.
  • Comments on VERY OLD entries, access-locked or public. I have many years of archives.
  • Comments from people who are not subscribed to me.
  • Comments from people who I’ve never met.
  • Comments from people who haven’t talked to me in awhile.
  • Comments from people who’ve never talked to me.
  • I like knowing the provenance of new commenters. If you're new, I'd love to know where you came from and what brought you here.

My great anxiety is that there's nobody out there and I'm shouting into the wind. If you’re feeling like you want to comment with something, feel free to comment with what feels good and comfortable to you, whether that’s leaving a !!! or an essay. If you don't have the spoons for any comment, that's okay, too. No pressure, no obligations.

How I reply to comments:
  • I mostly try to reply to comments.
  • I normally try to reply to comments as soon after they arrive as I can.
  • My comments will probably try to elicit more discussion and longer-form commentary. Part of it is my professional training, part of it is because I like discussions.
  • You are never obligated to reply to a reply, nor to write longer-form than you wish.
  • If you would like a response to a comment, I encourage you to let me know. “I would appreciate a response to this if possible,” etc. is totally fine with me.
  • Absentminded. If I have forgotten to reply to something you want a reply to, a poke is totally okay.

Linking to my entries:
  • If it’s public, it’s fair game.
  • It’s access-locked, ask me.
  • Please do not archive my work without asking me first.
  • If you do link to me elsewhere, it warms my heart if you tell me where you linked, but it's not a requirement.
  • If something I linked or wrote inspired you, it warms my heart if you link me to it. Also not a requirement.

Transformative works:

As of the time of writing this (02013-09-09), the content of my blog is licensed CC-BY-SA (3.0 Unported), which says that if you use my work for something, your work should attribute me (the user name and a link back to my blog is usually sufficient) and your work should also be licensed under a license similar to the Attribution-Sharealike license. The stuff I link to is not governed under this license and may have additional requirements for you to use.

Adding and access:

If you want to add me, go ahead! Please feel encouraged to do so.

I like new subscribers. I also respect access-locks - if something you created is That Awesome, I'll ask for permission before excerpting or posting elsewhere.

I may not add you back - I tend to evaluate based on what's available on your entries page. If you're mostly access only, it may take some comments or a conversation in a third space before I have an idea of whether I want to subscribe. If your journal is a repository for your fiction efforts, I may not add you back, because I do not have near enough time to properly read anyone's fiction as a part of my daily list crawl. I would probably enjoy it, if I had the time.

I don't give access, generally. For one, nearly everything posted is public, so you're not missing out on anything by not having that access. If I do post something under access-lock, it is probably something intensely personal, and so I'd be hand-selecting who I want to see it.

(This idea stolen and modified from [personal profile] trascendenza, who first broached it in their own journal when talking about commenting culture and their own anxieties.)

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Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Current Music: Mitsuda via Valente - Schala's Theme
Silver Adept
24 January 2017 @ 08:46 pm
Everything here is under cut, because it involves politics or political figures. At least for this entry, you don't have to go there if you don't want to.

Here we go.Collapse )

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Current Mood: lethargiclethargic
Current Music: Yoko Shimomura - End of the World
Silver Adept
Fandom is both long-remembering and always distracted by the new shiny. Shows and media properties stay in our lives for a while, some leaving because the viewership isn't there, others because they've reached the end of their story and now it's time to go. Some creators love their fans and are happy to share the space of their creations with others. (Some only if no money is made from the transaction.) Others are okay with fans, but only if they keep their distance and observe.

More than a few come to the fandom because their media failed to show they existed, and those stories needed to be told. Some came because their media had managed to populate itself with plenty of people like them, and lots of other diverse people, and posted invitations at the boundaries for anyone to come in. Others came because they loved the show and were certain a couple were destined for each other, and it never happened. So clearly there has to be a point where it does happen.

And then it gets stranger from there. Some come because they think characters should be subjected to new and strange scenarios, like being part of an apocalypse, or all members or patrons of a coffee shop (or a bar), or entwined in ways that transcend death and reincarnation. Some have built an elaborate universe of social functions that are enforced by instinct so deeply ingrained that they couldn't break it even if their lives depended on it. There's idfic, crack pairings, and plenty of Plot? What Plot? to go around. The enthusiasm of fandom in its excesses and opinions, and the diversity of those opinions, is quite the thing to behold and appreciate, even when those opinions differ.

Fandom takes care of its own (a lot of the time, anyway.) There are plenty of stories of people meeting, whether for drinks or romance, people providing aid to each other to meet bills, provide happiness, and even sometimes help with long-distance moves. That protectiveness can sometimes get in the way of things. Some people use fandom to cloak their beliefs and prejudices. Others use it to take advantage of others and behave poorly and disrespectfully, counting on fandom to be too afraid of getting rid of one of their own to discipline them or demand improvement of their behavior. Sometimes we succeed at getting them gone anyway, sometimes they turn out to be not a single entity but a small (or large) group that wants to speak for fandom and normalize their own behavior. Sometimes they turn out to be trolls, sometimes that turn out to be just intent on hurting anyone they can get within their sights, sometimes they want to burn the place down and replace it with their own version of it, whether for good or for ill. Those things cause disruptions, but they are either handled and sent back to the darkness from which they came, or welcomed and listened to and integrated as best as possible. (At least on the fannish side. Creators and studios often are hostile to ideas that request diversity of characters and avoiding retreads of problematic tropes and storylines.)

Fandom is vast, it contains multitudes. Whether for gen, het, slash, femslash, multi, poly, or any and all of the pronouns, identities, and ways that characters and creators identify themselves, it's a great way of making connections and sharing creativity and the things that make art artistic and enjoyed by those who experience it. Long may it reign.

In your own space, write a love letter to Fandom in general, to a particular fandom, to a trope, a relationship, a character, or to your flist/circle/followers. Share you love and squee as loud as you want to.

And that's it for another year. I hope this has been an enjoyable journey through fandom.

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Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
Current Music: Yoko Kanno & the Seatbelts - Tank!
Silver Adept
15 January 2017 @ 08:19 am
In your own space, write about a moment in fandom that meant a lot to you.

Well, that's a bit difficult. Mostly because I tend to focus on the moments of the source material and how they affect me. What fandom does can sometimes be the subject of unwanted attention (witness some of Bronies, all of Puppies, the entire GamerGate splat), but then there are also things that are heroic and awesome that fandom does, like the Harry Potter Alliance. And the charitable donations in the name of fandom.

I think that the biggest impact that fandom does, or has done, are things like the 501st Legion / Rebel Alliance and similar cosplay groups that make it so that characters from fandom can spring into life and allow others to experience heroes. (Even better when you can get the actors to get engaged, too, as with the Iron Man prosthetic arm.)

Which points to the thing I find most touching of fandom activity recently - Batkid. The Make-A-Wish Foundation does awesome things for kids and funds then through donations and volunteers and asks people to get on board and provide time, expertise, and money. A young child's wish was to be a superhero.

San Francisco (and a lot of the surrounding area) responded. In the thousands. And the tens of thousands. So much so that the Foundation had to say "Thank you for your interest, but we have enough people to help with this." And all the fans turned out in droves, as bystanders, as other heroes, as members of a grateful city, as journalists and members of the media, as the entities of justice that help and handle the matters of prosecution. Even the President got into the act for a little bit.

For a day, fandom became the very best that people could be, to make a child's wish come true. Sure, the scenario was scripted, but the response and the enthusiasm that everyone brought wasn't. I'd love to see more Batkid moments in the future.

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Current Music: 1960s Batman Theme
Silver Adept
14 January 2017 @ 12:02 pm
In your own space, post a rec for fannish spaces and resources - comms, challenges, twitters, tumblrs, etc. Tell us where you hang out.

My fannish space, such that it is, tends to be on Dreamwidth and the Archive Of Our Own. I don't hang out in a lot in fannish communities, and I tend to be adding in exchange communities to do writing assignments. For that, I might mention there's [community profile] fandomcalendar, which has a lot of exchanges and events posted.

Much of my fannish presence is in linkspam and in the comments sections of other people's spaces. So, if you would like fannish commentary, you should probably talk about fannish things in your own space and see if I get wandered over there and say hello.

So, yes, hrm, I guess that using tag searching and the fandom calendar is really all I've got. Ah, well.

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Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: Casey Lee Williams - Mirror, Mirror
Silver Adept
14 January 2017 @ 11:35 am
In your own space, talk about a creator. Show us why you think they are amazing.

There's a webcomic that I desperately wish was able to finish. But it was a comic about mental health issues and taking a journey through the mind to try and fix some broken bits, and, unsurprisingly, mental issues ended up causing the premature cancelation of the work.

It was 9th Elsewhere, and it no longer exists all that much on the Internet, except in the Archive. I miss Caroline, the character, and Eiji and the bakobako, Bubbles, and Optimism. Dorian was a good cosplay.

I met Caroline Curtis, the creator, on a lark during my university years heading to the local animation store. There was a webcomic showing, headlined by then-local Piro, creator of Megatokyo, and I got to discuss "umbrella-related poses" and follow the comic. Many years later, right before the end, with all the good adventures, there was enough interest to print a book of the first volume. I paid my dues in, and then the issues came, and everything went away.

It was an unexpected joy, then, many years later to get an email asking for updated addresses, as the book had actually, finally, happened, and so I got, after that many years, a collection of everything that was 9E. It's been a very important piece of work, and I sincerely hope that Caroline, wherever they are, is doing much better, and that perhaps some time in the future, 9th Elsewhere will return, and there will be happiness for everyone there.

(And then I left it behind in the hurry. I hope it's still there when everything finishes.)

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Current Music: Nobuo Uematsu - Compression of Time
Silver Adept
In your own space, share your love for a trope, cliché, kink, motif, or theme. (More than one is okay, too.) Tell us about it, tell us why you love it, give us some examples and recs.

I don't know if it's a specific trope, but I seem to be very much on the path at this point toward liking media that subverts or averts their tropes. And not just in a way that makes it painfully obvious that it's really a horrible story Recycled IN SPAAAAAACE, either.

For example, one of the most fearsome foes of the Final Fantasy franchise (Added Alliterative Appeal) is the Tonberry. Tonberries are slow, they don't attack quickly, but odds are good that the first time you encounter one, it's going to one-shot a character, if not the entire party. Because Tonberries usually have a move that deals damage to a character based on the number of other monsters and creatures that have been killed. Or the amount of steps the party has taken. Or some other hidden counter that springs forth in vengeance and then has to be dealt with on a regular basis. If you play the game the way the designers intended, retribution arrives.

I also like games like Undertale, where the player has to make real choices with consequences and players with Genre Savvy often find themselves strongly in the category of Wrong Genre Savvy. It's good to have your expectations shifted.

Witty banner also helps. Whether Beatrice/Benedick, Laharl/Etna/Flonne/Mid-Boss, or Vash/Wolfwood/Millie, a character group that can sustain some zippy remarks without falling too far into "that's what [x] said" sorts of territory, things are usually going well.

The early Big Bang Theory had gestures of this, but with increasing Flanderization, is become apparent that instead of setting out to write a properly geek sitcom, they decided to write a generic sitcom and then apply various geek flavorings on top. Contrast, say, Welcome to Night Vale, where the weirdness is so thoroughly cemented into the world that is not possible to tell the story without it being there.

I guess that's why it's a little harder to write Dear Author letters - because I'm not looking for specific storytelling tropes that characters can be slotted into. I'm looking for stories that grow organically and can't be separated from their characters and settings. So I'm thinking in plots instead of tropes.

I don't think I'm the only one, either.

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Current Music: Nobuo Uematsu - Dance of the Balamb Fish
Silver Adept
09 January 2017 @ 07:33 am
In your own space, make a list of at least 3 things that you like about yourself.

This is always difficult because coming up with things is usually difficult, and it makes for some racking-of-brains to figure out things that work.

That said, here's my current attempt:
  1. I'm good at my job. I need reinforcement on this at times, which often comes in the form of happy wiggly children and the occasional parent comment. And the people that say thanks for when you know where to put the chalk mark and save them a lot of time and frustration hunting for what they know is there. And the fact that having worked in the same place for nearly a decade now has to say something about your competence. So, yes, I'm good at my job.
  2. I can make tech do neat things, usually in the service of playing games. Call it what you like, but I do have comfort enough with technology that I can make over technology work to do great things. Most of the limitations, though, have to do with old technology usually being a bit on the underpowered side. This isn't to say that I'm someone who gets elbows deep in code and hardware specs and hacking things that way. I have research skills that usually let me turn up someone else's hard work and allow me to use their fruits for my own purposes. It's the only reason I have much of what I have - gifts and frugality means learning how to build your own computer or how to install custom software on your devices so that their lives can be extended and their abilities brought up to a more current standard after their manufacturers have abandoned them to the tender mercies of time. It's nice to have a working setup that is basically all of your older technology in harmony.
  3. I'm a decent writer. While the kudos counts may never be in the ridiculous, they do come through, and the comments are appreciative. The discussions in the giving of grief to Pern are thoughtful and insightful from a core group that has accumulated over the years. The linkspam posts seem very appreciated, if rarely commented on because of their volume. Somewhere in the last [moped!] years, I think I've managed to put in enough time for skill to catch up to taste. Which is anyways a satisfying thing.
There are other things that I can say to feel good about myself, but they're not things I'm ready to talk about publicly or link to. So you get these, instead.

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Current Music: Dream Theater - Ytse Jam
Silver Adept
07 January 2017 @ 10:02 pm
In your own space, create a fanwork. Make a drabble, a ficlet, a podfic, or an icon, art or meta or a rec list. Arts and crafts. Draft a critical essay about a particular media. Put together a picspam or a fanmix. Write a review of a Broadway show, a movie, a concert, a poetry reading, a museum trip, a you-should-be-listening-to-this-band essay. Compose some limericks, haikus, free-form poetry, 5-word stories. Document a particular bit of real person canon. Take some pictures. Draw a stick-figure comic. Create something.

I cheated, slightly, and instead posted a thing that I had already created, but was willing to let sit in my file for a while. So you get this:

The Gold Curse (1193 words) by silveradept
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Once Upon a Time (TV), Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood, Rumplestiltskin | Mr. Gold
Additional Tags: Crossover

The curse hit Hogwarts, and only Hermione knows anything about what happened. So she goes to confront the source. Not that Gold is telling anything.


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Current Music: Match Game Theme
Silver Adept
In your own space, create a list of at least three fannish things you'd love to receive, something you've wanted but were afraid to ask for - a fannish wish-list of sorts.

For people that have strong fannish preferences, this should be no trouble - the Omegaverse versions of X, Y, and Zed, for example. Or some hurt/comfort of one's favorite pair of frenemies. Since I'm still mostly working things out in terms of what sorts of major fannish places or AUs to hang out in, it's not quite as easy. Then again, I tend to lurk through other people's tagsets when signing up rather than nominating my own. My prompts also tends to be more open-ended and narrative-driven, rather than specific universe requests. Things like pointing out how well the contrasting energies is two characters go well together in a romantic or friendship pairing, but otherwise not actually giving much more than that. I'm not sure that's much help to artists and authors, since I don't have a list of established yes and no in fanwork that I can refer to.

Additionally, I might believe more than others in the idea that people aren't supposed to want, based on my circumstances outside of this space, so it's more difficult to muster up a request. I'm much more interested in filling other people's things at times.

But, since this is supposed to be a wishlist of things that I want, I should give it the collegiate try. Here goes.
  1. Arkos. Unless the people at Rooster Teeth have something very interesting up their sleeves, the Jaune/Pyrrha relationship, well, died. I am still rather invested in it, apparently, and it would be nice to get a fanwork that keeps the ship going or that is a picture of the two of them together before tragedy struck, or just about any other combination of the two of them (with or without others) that keeps the ship going or shows them both delighting in each other.
  2. Badass Hermione. She's the best magician Hogwarts has seen in a long while, save perhaps Molly or Minerva. And yet, in every narrative she's been in that's official (or at least has the author's stamp on it), she's not allowed to be very effective, whether because of the other two or because she's been tied up in bureaucratic everything. I'd like something that just lets Hermione loose on a problem and allows her to bring the full force of her skills and faculties to bear on it.
  3. Icons, banners, fanart, pictures, and so forth. It's the thing I don't have the skills for, but I really appreciate visual gifts. I also understand they take time and money and that it's really kind of an awful thing to ask someone for, to use their time and talent to make something for me and I'm not compensating them. I'd still like things ask the same.

Wishlist complete. Now to cower in a corner somewhere from having the audacity to ask.

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Current Music: Gustav Holst via Venture Brothers - 21 and 24 called back by the Monarch
Silver Adept
In your own space, post recs for at least three fanworks that you did not create. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

These are the first three that I can recommend in the Yuletide collection. They will not be the last ones, but I'm crunched for time, as usual.

The Devil Went Down To Georgia...and for a lot more than what he bargained for.

Some Who Or Other explains, in Seussical verse, how the Whos discovered their missing Christmas, and then convinced a Grinch to return it all.

Mage #24 is all about what happens when your campaign actually goes well enough that the expendable squishy wizard doesn't bite it before you get to know them.

Of course, you could just read the Yuletide collection and get these and many more recommended works all at once. Especially with the influx of new people to Dreamwidth, there's a lot of space to go exploring.

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Current Mood: happyhappy
Current Music: The Librarians - Triumph
Silver Adept
Beginning again with advice for the non-selfie type on how to take good selfies.

Tarot by Thistle, for those needs that can be assisted by cards.

A Tarot deck involving the Sailor Scouts and their enemies.

What a moon sign suggests about a person.

Things that people who are not feeling their feelings do to avoid feeling feelings.

The complexity of watching someone get what might be an appropriately karmic fate.

Perhaps it is time to retire the term graphic novel, as comics have more achieved widespread acceptance as a serious art form?

The White House having a rocking party. Pictures of the outgoing President. More pictures of the outgoing President. The outgoing President as a baller. The unabashed joy of electing a black man President. Pictures of the outgoing First Lady. Mannequinning with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Distributing candy to costumed revelers. People look nothing like their younger selves.

Honor to those whose movement reverberates and reminds everyone that black lives matter. Glory to those who go to Valhalla having fought well against cancers and abusers and those fights that are not glorified in Midgard.

Badass women of 2016.

Approaching the soundtrack of Moana with an eye toward making it strongly Polynesian.

The reality that brassiere fitting is the best way to know what fits, and that it doesn't mean a damn thing in terms of size. Also, actually, a really neat trick about red as a color that vanishes under white. And Victoria's Secret has no clue at all on how to do things correctly.

Role models in sexuality still tend toward centering white penises doing abusive actions.

Why people fear Superman, even though he demonstrates regularly that he's not playing into those fears. The burdens of attempting assimilation that can never actually succeed.

The joy that comes with being able to put a name to something. The joys of friendship among those who understand.

Children will do what you tell them to.

The ghost story traditions of Christmas time.

Cards Against Science Fiction. And a lot of other things.

Stories of celebrities behaving well.

A call to politicians to find libraries adequately and for librarians and libraries to be more of the community institutions they claim to be.

The Icelandic tradition of giving books on Christmas Eve, along with a cat that eats those who are unprepared for the winter.

The story structure of fairy tales are very different depending on culture, such that the Campbellian monomyth doesn't apply or doesn't hit squarely. Reminders that publishers will have a long way to go before they will represent disability well.

Paris attempts to reduce pollution by banning certain cars and trying to make public transport very attractive to ride.

On the importance of being able to stop and think, so as to solve problems or have a discussion. On the necessity of being nice to those working retail jobs.

When told all you should do is be willing to settle for what you can get, seizing what you want is the best revenge.

21 young women, girls, and femmes changing the world.

Inclusive headscarf design.

Cultural appropriation buries the stories of those who have come to their identity by living it. Representation in literature matters. Appropriation also sometimes means people asking questions without having done any work and expecting answers. And it also means the expectation that everyone's film classics are the same or that dark-skinned fictional people are always savage and aggressive to the white people around them. It means lawsuits and settlements when hipster clothing outfits take your name and tribal pattern to sell things inappropriate to your culture.

Friendship trumps all sorts of things.

Successfully merging religious identity and sexual orientation.

A successful wedding, even if the marriage isn't legally recognized.

Sigourney Weaver on the roles she has played where the women are unlikable, whether by design or by the fans.

Flossie Wong Staal, the virologist who first replicated HIV and helped determine that it was the cause of AIDS.

The increased connectivity of our world makes it easier for us to be overwhelmed by our own powerlessness, which makes our years seem subjectively to be the worst possible ones. There were plenty of good things to celebrate in 2016. And maybe we can all be the relief of burden that someone else needs right now.

Coaching and lessons on charisma and how to charm a crowd.

Being an ally does not shield you, but says you are willing to listen to critique and to act to help marginalized people. Here are some suggestions. (As self-education is much more helpful than trying to find someone who will do it for you.)

Writing for a different medium helps improve writing skill across all media. The changing definitions of worldbuilding. Yet another plea to avoid using sexual assault as a cheap plot device.

Monstering, a magazine at the intersection of disability and nonbinary.

Moxi, an all women roller-skating tricks team.

The dance of work, being a woman, and parenthood.

Role modeling requires someone in the role to do the modeling.

Be polite to retail workers. (See consumerism for what it is, too.)

Information about how one might go about finding a menstrual cup that works, should someone have the parts that would make it a good idea to purchase. There's also a recommendation, but you can take or leave that as you like. A safer sex campaign using Sailor Moon as the mascot.

More accurate nail polish shades. And fashion illustrations using nail polish as their paint.

Transforming baked goods into interesting scenes.

The Disney Princesses reimagined with tattoos.

Idiomatic phrases in French. Pictures of persons living in Toronto who are originally from every other country in the world.

The construction of a strawberry rose. Artistic constructions of coins. A paper flower installation. Snow transforms a hero into Vader.

New species! And very old ones. A spider named after the Sorting Hat. A cute kitten, decorated, a cute kitten, purring, tarantulas and frogs working together, a cat as stress relief for college students, and everyone else, well-captioned dogs, a dog and their cat companion, sleepy grooming, elephant facts, a dog that has learned how to guide humans to their treats, a perching kitten, a shared emotional state, even DEATH pets kittens, a tortoise-hare race, young ones experiencing the world for the first time, a seal and a dog having a hug, a kitten dressed as a bat, tweets from somewolf clearly not pretending to be a man, glowing creatures (and some of the science with it), recognizing cat asthma, cats that believe they are hiding from the vet, a rescue goat successfully managing anxiety, dogs and humans in before and after pictures, dogs not actually breaking the rules, pieces of good cheer, Terran creatures that look like alien life forms, a tissue box that looks like a cat in a tissue box, and capturing cats in the middle of a pounce.

Technology has a device to turn any bed into a privacy tent, pictures of Mars, then and now, the incredible successes of the Cassini mission, another consequence of an insightful algorithm - it takes paid ads to displace Holocaust deniers off of Google's to results, results that are there because the algorithms have been gamed, a polymer that could defeat antibiotic-resistant organisms by destroying their integrity, actual delivery by drone, attempted cultural preservation through Facebook, embedding seeds in newspapers so that they can grow plants, the knowledge that Word has templates to make sure papers are formatted correctly, the fact that there really isn't any method for losing body weight that works and that engaging in yo-yoing with your weight is bad for you, the reason why a vampire should be able to post a selfie, the very bad consequences of underwater nuclear testing, an automaton that could identify itself by signing its work, tools to make removing your online presence easier, toys that can easily be used as surveillance and recording devices, Stitch maps, that let you see how a project will come into existence, and the ability to download Netflix material to a device for offline viewing.

Last for tonight, very few people understand what they're giving up when they articulate a desire to renounce the world. Because many aspects of high technology are so embedded that they won't notice them until they're really gone.

A new story from H.G. Wells.

Advice on remaining a creative person even in terrible times. Which may involve making music with basketballs. Or finding effective study aids.

School presentations with intent to tell things like they are. Going through the Williams-Sonoma catalog with a snark-toothed comb.

At the very end, I'm sorry things are rough right now, but I think you're pretty great. Some inspirational phrases.

Happy Holidays, everyone.

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Current Mood: anxiousanxious
Current Music: Carol of the Bells
Silver Adept
In your own space, set some goals for the coming year. They can be fannish or not, public or private.

I have goals this year, I do. There's a mandated one to get certified in some office software - may as well go for as many as I can, right?

I also have a continual resolution to never have to default on an assignment.

I want to speak at conferences this year, where possible. Or at least attend them.

I am aiming to create a new life for myself this year, which will take courage and assistance from all sorts of people to make it work. If I can do this one this year, then all will be well...as soon as I finish what needs to be done and can then begin the process of recovering from the life I have currently.

I also want to play music. And take care of the animals. And others.

Here's hoping.

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Current Mood: depresseddepressed
Current Music: John Williams - Superman
Silver Adept
Most media is consumable and forgettable. Episodes often spend their time driving to a single line or action that is the point of the episode, the single memorable and emotional part that carries through into the next episode or season. Some things only get one of those events, some get several, and some try to build entire shows on that premise and the idea that ordinary people, when put on camera, will do all sorts of heinous things. (Pay no attention to the casting director who deliberately set the mix of people to be the most volatile and explosive one the game gets going.) In any case, as the presence of the shirt of spoilers indicates, there are plenty of memorable elements to our media properties.

In your own space, share a book/song/movie/tv show/fanwork/etc that changed your life. Something that impacted on your consciousness in a way that left its mark on your soul.

A life-changing media work, one that stays with me even as I progress in life? High praise, indeed, for something like that, considering the accelerated pace and multiple distribution channels for media these days. I could talk again about formative adventure games or a book that helped stick some fantasy tropes on their heads, but all of those things are parts and pieces and not soul-branding experiences.

It could turn out that RWBY is going to be one of those media properties, but it's not done yet and has the potential to go splat on that attempt.

I think I'm going to go with Bone as a work that had a strong impact on me. Fone Bone, Rose, the Red Dragon, and the stupid, stupid rat creatures are all well developed characters, and the story does what a lot of memorable stories I have do - start with comedy and light situations, and then strike hard with the serious and ride that to the end. I realize, after writing that sentence, that many of my memorable media experiences do this - Trigun, Brigadoon, RWBY, Eureka, even Calvin and Hobbes does it. It's clearly an effective storytelling trope. It doesn't necessarily mean that's the way I like my media (still an Arkos fan, thank you, and I like silly Vash and the Insurance Girls more than Knives and Legato), but that's apparently the way to get me invested. And also, possibly, very, very upset at the showrunners when they make that turn for the dark.

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Silver Adept
[It's December Days time! There's no overarching theme this year, so if you have ideas of things to write about, I'm more than happy to hear them. Thanks again for reading through the month and commenting. It's quite nice.]

Time for the semiannual fiction output post. I've done quite a bit in these past six, it appears.

  • The Audition (3042 words) by silveradept
    Chapters: 1/1
    Fandom: Avatar: Legend of Korra
    Rating: General Audiences
    Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
    Relationships: Suyin Beifong & Kuvira
    Characters: Suyin Beifong, Kuvira (Avatar), Korra (Avatar), Lin Beifong
    Additional Tags: Metalbending & Metalbenders, Dancing, Post-Canon

    Kuvira returns to the thing that she knows best, after her bid to unify the Earth Empire failed. The metal helps her think. The dance helps her feel. In front of no-one, Kuvira puts on the performance of her life.

    I jumped up my wordcount with this one, but it needed it. I also feel rather proud of this one because of integrating music suggestions into the work itself to help evoke the intended mood. Well-received work and a reassuring sign to me that I was capable of longer things with the right inspiration.

  • Machine Learning (1235 words) by silveradept
    Chapters: 1/1
    Fandom: Person of Interest (TV)
    Rating: General Audiences
    Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
    Characters: The Machine (Person of Interest), Samaritan (Person of Interest)

    What, exactly, can an ASI do when given the opportunity? Quite a bit, it seems.

    A treat to write, from the perspective of the most interesting and least heard-from character in Person of Interest. Contains Asimov references, as I suspect any artificial superintelligence would have them.

  • The Best Revue In The State (2826 words) by silveradept
    Chapters: 1/1
    Fandom: Leverage, White Collar
    Rating: Mature
    Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
    Relationships: Neal Caffrey (White Collar) / Jim Sterling (Leverage)
    Characters: Neal Caffrey, Jim Sterling
    Additional Tags: Crossover Pairings

    If he had known that teaming up with a supposedly reformed art thief and con man would eventually lead to his prancing about on a male revue stage, Jim Sterling might have thought a little bit harder about accepting Neal Caffrey's offer to get closer to Leverage.

    I wasn't sure I could write convincing, or at least plausible relationships between men until I tackled this assignment. I used the fact that Matt Bomer did Magic Mike as the way to getting this story to completion, and it turned out okay, at the very least. I've got less fear about writing all kinds of relationships after this.

  • Human-Cyborg Relations (2715 words) by silveradept
    Chapters: 1/1
    Fandom: Xenosaga
    Rating: Mature
    Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
    Relationships: KOS-MOS/Shion Uzuki
    Characters: KOS-MOS (Xenosaga), Shion Uzuki

    It's diagnostics day for KOS-MOS. Everything would be fine, if it weren't for some strange static infecting her processors every time Shion touches her.

    And then I did this one, which was a relationship between a female character and her gynoid, so now I've done one of each of the same-gender (ish) relationship stories. My beta's seal of approval on this one about being able to write a convincing F/F relationship was very helpful in building confidence in my writing ability.

  • Story Time with Rumpelstiltskin (2454 words) by silveradept
    Chapters: 1/1
    Fandom: Once Upon a Time (TV)
    Rating: General Audiences
    Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
    Relationships: Belle/Rumplestiltskin | Mr. Gold
    Characters: Belle (Once Upon a Time), Rumplestiltskin | Mr. Gold

    Belle and Rumpelstiltskin share a story every night. Tonight, Belle decides she wants to tell Rumpelstiltskin.

    He is not amused.

    This one is fun - if you know the premise of Once Upon A Time, where storybook characters (or at least their Disney versions) have been transported to our world, then the idea of having Rumpelstiltskin have to listen to his own origin story is too good of a chance to pass up. Include that Rumpelstiltskin is generally a grump and a grouch together, and there's lots of fun potential in needling him.

  • Cyber-Serenity (4062 words) by silveradept
    Chapters: 1/1
    Fandom: Firefly, Doctor Who (2005)
    Rating: General Audiences
    Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
    Relationships: Malcolm Reynolds & Eleventh Doctor
    Characters: Eleventh Doctor, Malcolm Reynolds

    A strange blue box contains a nearly-naked man with an offer to travel the 'Verse and get paid handsomely for it. This makes Mal deeply suspicious. His suspicion is warranted.

    What do you get when you cross a cynical Browncoat with a Doctor who crosses space and time? An adventure, of course. The wordcount went back up for this one, which usually is a sign of a more involved plot than what first came to mind. I liked writing it, even though there was a lot of banging my head against Mal's characterization to get him right.

  • Dream of the Hero Near Another World (4189 words) by silveradept
    Chapters: 1/1
    Fandom: Quest for Glory
    Rating: General Audiences
    Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
    Characters: Erana (Quest for Glory), Katrina (Quest for Glory), The Hero (Quest for Glory), Avoozl (Quest for Glory)
    Additional Tags: Cameos

    The dead do not always take their fate lightly. Heroes sometimes find they can still be of use to other heroes from beyond the veil. All it takes is a connection.

    This one needed to both have the fat trimmed and the story expanded. I'm a sucker for prompts that have this game in them, just because it was formative and good and I want more people to write in it. But this story is a testament to the idea of writing what you have and then working backwards from there. Eventually, I got to something that I was satisfied with.

  • To Complete The Set (2743 words) by silveradept
    Chapters: 1/1
    Fandom: Final Fantasy XIII
    Rating: Not Rated
    Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
    Relationships: Lightning/Oerba Dia Vanille/Oerba Yun Fang
    Characters: Lightning (Final Fantasy XIII), Oerba Yun Fang, Oerba Dia Vanille

    Lightning thought she was rescuing someone from a bad situation at the club. What she got into was much, much stranger.

    Emboldened by my success at Human-Cyborg Relations, I decided to go in and write again for an exchange fully on femalash. And ended up writing a story about how a triad came to be off the prompt. I like how this one turned out, mostly because I think I was able to keep the characterizations correct, but allow a character who is not at the forefront in their source material to come out and behave more like how I thought she would be in that same game. The power of transformative works, and all.

  • And finally, since Yuletide reveals were this morning, I get to put my capstone in for this year:

    Promotion (6609 words) by silveradept
    Chapters: 1/1
    Fandom: Chess (Board Game)
    Rating: Mature
    Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
    Relationships: Pawn (Chess)/Queen(Chess)
    Characters: Pawn (Chess), Queen (Chess)
    Additional Tags: Dubious Consent, Mind Control, Violence, Crossdressing, Crueltide, Anthropomorphic, Transformation, Disguise

    The Pawn of e file must navigate the dangers of the Board and capture the Queen. The plan goes well...until the Pawn makes contact with the Queen.

    This is one of my finest works for this year, taking someone's plotbunny and fleshing it out into something they're proud of. The revisions to the drafts from the betas (thank you, [personal profile] azurelunatic and [personal profile] sithjawa) added two thousand words from the initial draft. It's the biggest work this year, in terms of words and in terms of worldbuilding and work involved in it, because it's not like chess has a shared world and characters to draw on for wiring. I'm immensely proud of it and very glad that the recipient loved it.
So, onward to next year's output posts, challenges, and writing. I'd like more kudos and comments to stroke my ego, of course, but otherwise, the joy is in the writing.

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Current Mood: energeticenergetic
Current Music: Casey Lee Williams - Mirror, Mirror
Silver Adept
[It's December Days time! There's no overarching theme this year, so if you have ideas of things to write about, I'm more than happy to hear them.]

The Internet Archive intends to copy itself to Canada in case the incoming administration gets censorial. Public libraries intend to keep the minimum of data and logs possible to prevent privacy intrusions by government order. People become creative and inventive in the ways that they route around censors and others who wish to stand in the way of information. Onion routing, for example, or the use of the virtual private network.

If you are confronted with keyword filters, then it's simple enough to find pages with images or videos that contain the information requested. (Not so great for the visually impaired, but I'll bet there are audio and other means that do the same.) Blacklists can be brute-forced, somewhat, to find things that aren't on the list. Whitelists can be turned into an aggravation headache for IT with deluges of requests. Port blockers can be tunneled around, credentials forged or stolen. Essentially, as technology advances, the technology to fool it advances as well. (It's a great line from My Teacher Flunked The Planet.)

But this also applies to social situations well. The Ashley Madison hack showed us that there were more than a few people who needed or wanted to route around the covenants they had put themselves in, without necessarily wanting to it being able to dissolve those agreements. People who don't want to be spied on by others, which could be partners, employers, or government entities, use library computers for their work and Internet searches. Or check out library materials for use in their lives, so that they can explore ideas and identities without having to deal with the judgment of others.

This is why it is essential that devices that are in your possession be under your control. What's phoning home on you is important to know. I also don't like having to make decisions between installing an operating system on a smartphone of my choosing and not being able to partake in cultural phenomena, but that also happens when someone gets overbroad and zealous about making sure a phone has never had anything that might lead to modification done to it.

Getting back to the actual point that started this post, the decision by the Internet Archive should be seen as good practice - since a lot of the servers that power websites and other things are located in the United States, it seems life a very prudent idea to have an off-site backup, in case the political climate shifts so strongly that the information in the Archive is at risk. Or in case bad things happen at the data center that houses the archive. I think it's a rather telling sign, though, that people who are dedicated to archiving and documenting what has happened online are making sure that they have plans to be outside the reach of the incoming administration. It's pretty bad now in surveillance and secrecy, thanks to the cover of fighting the Concept War, but they stayed put for that time. Now they're looking to move. While you can't easily stop things that want to be out in the open, because networks reroute around damaged nodes, you can make it difficult for anyone who wants to speak that truth.

It is my sincere hope that such measures do not become necessary to do one's work.

(And that any of you suffering under censorship of any form find the way to get out and tell the truth about it all.)

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Current Music: David Bowie - Let's Dance
Silver Adept
30 December 2016 @ 02:44 pm
[It's December Days time! There's no overarching theme this year, so if you have ideas of things to write about, I'm more than happy to hear them.]

An observation, and perhaps a request for help.

For as much time as I have spent in places with art and statuary of fairies, dragons, and other mystic creatures, I have yet to find an artist in stock who doesn't depict their dragons in one of two ways
  1. Fierce creatures of elemental destruction, whether armored or angry or otherwise upset or in aggressive poses intended to show off their status as apex predators, guardians, or, in some cases, the shackled mounts of other Fae creatures (which horrifies me to think of them as involuntary mounts).
  2. Cute creatures of rounded lines and cartoonish proportions, often small, sometimes not much bigger proportionately than the other entities they are with.

Call it some sort of mental thing for me, if you like. As much as I give grief to all the other things in the Dragonriders of Pern that deserve every bit of it, it is a series that has managed to balance the majesty and size and power of the dragons involved while making them helpful to the people they are around. (Admittedly, the required telepathic bonds are still a form of shackles.)

I can't seem to find an artist who is able to make their dragons properly powerful and respected without making them hostile. My conception of dragons may be very different than anybody else's, but I'd like to believe that this is really just a small world problem and I haven't made the right connections yet.

That's a thing I've observed. Make of it what you like.

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Current Music: John Williams - Star Wars Main Titles
Silver Adept
29 December 2016 @ 12:10 pm
[It's December Days time! There's no overarching theme this year, so if you have ideas of things to write about, I'm more than happy to hear them.]

Advice to teenagers to ignore the hype that says your teen years are the best years of your life. And yet, the strong emotional states of those years make the things we experienced them memorable.

Even now, I still recognize some of the celebrity READ posters from previous decades, for example, and they have memories of the libraries attached to them.

I'm told that brain science (and Inside Out) has figured out that strong emotional content makes memories stick. Which is why the day to day seems to slip away so easily. Which can actually make it difficult to recognize if you're in a bad situation or relationship, incidentally - the more bad and horrible things are normal to you, the harder it is to realize what's being done is wrong. Getting out early can avoid those tasks, but not everyone shows their full hand immediately.

Anyway, memory tied strongly to emotion, teenage years and college years as basically full of emotions, and strong ones for that matter, makes them very easy to remember - for good or ill. I suspect the people who have fond memories of those times are ones whose privilege or support network made it easy for them to transition into their identities and out into the adult world - the invisible things that made it so they don't have to worry completely about adult responsibilities, or have to spend spoons on disability or resilience against hate and assault. And because, for those people, the amount of free time they had to pursue interests (or not) was a lot greater, so they didn't feel as rushed or worried or concerned about making ends meet and about their financial situations. Or kids, pets, and other things.

It would be nice to retreat for a bit and let others handle all of those things and be secure in the knowledge that they will be taken care of. That's what friends and partners are there to help with, I'm guessing. Tough decisions when I was younger were about games to play and when to see friends. Tough decisions as an adult, well... that's another thing entirely. I can totally see the appeal of the relationship dynamic where someone gets to set aside all of those things for a negotiated length of time and just focus on the now and the person(s) in front of them. Whether as the person giving it receiving our both. We crave having a place of our own to go to when things get overwhelming, and without that place, there's very little that can be done for growth or learning. I guess it makes sense for it to come from a place where things felt safe, and for many people, I guess that's childhood.

Somewhere in all of this, in sure there's a piece of wisdom. Perhaps a story about a link who set his burden down quite a ways ago, or something about the simple and healing powers of nature, or being without focus, or just being more mindful of everything that comes through. I'm not really sure what it is, though, and whether it applies at all.

The advice about ignoring your teen years as your best years is sound, though - we have already done more as adults in the way of accomplishments than we did as teenagers. So much more, even when it doesn't seem like it at all.

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Current Music: Koji Kondo - Song of Time
Silver Adept
28 December 2016 @ 12:36 am
[It's December Days time! There's no overarching theme this year, so if you have ideas of things to write about, I'm more than happy to hear them.]

For as much as I enjoy art, I realize that I lack the necessary skills to produce it, whether as CG or hand-drawn material. This is mostly a matter of practice, however - should I decide I want to acquire the skills and practice them, I will eventually be able to produce material of sufficient quality to make myself proud of it.

I used to think much the same about the quality of my writing. I realize, though, that at this point of life, I've actually done a lot of writing practice. There's still plenty more to do and improve upon, but if I think about it, I've written into the hundreds of thousands of words over the past twenty-*mumble* years of being a writer. My early work wouldn't make the AO3 minimum word count, but the craft developed a lot over message board RPGs, before graduating into Livejournal roundups, link lists, and commentary on commentary and opinion columns. And now, I'm back where I started, actually, writing fan fiction and commentary on stories, with a lot of experience going to work on making things better. I still need other pairs of eyes to look it over and make sure there aren't major and minor mistakes. But if the commentary I've been getting on the stories and the giving of grief is any indication of how others are receiving the work, I've managed to make it to the point where I can be satisfied that the writing is good, and that others that see the works believe its good, as well.

This is a fantastic thing. I've finally gotten to the point where the output is good enough that it doesn't offend my sense of taste. Through a lot of practice and putting words out. Hooray!

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Current Music: Hans Zimmer - He's A Pirate
Silver Adept
27 December 2016 @ 11:32 pm
[It's December Days time! There's no overarching theme this year, so if you have ideas of things to write about, I'm more than happy to hear them.]

Wonder Woman, soberly.

Wonder Woman, ready for battle.

Wonder Woman, displaying wisdom and mentorship.

Galadriel, looking beautiful.

Differences in travel speeds.

Concept pictures for the Avatar, the Last Airbender cast.

A full-color cast picture of the Gaang.

Very strong core muscles.

Holding the world in your hands.

A happy reunion.

Costumes time!

A couple showing intimacy.

Hidden strength.

Proper uses of a vibranium shield.

Dorothy and the Lion.

The desire for flight.

Disney villains in portraiture style.

The Little Mermaid, were white not the default skin tone. Anna and Elsa, in the same vein.

An iconic member of the Blue Lantern Corps.

The practicalities of raising a child while Spiderman.

Grieving sisters, which reminds me of a movie where Jet Li plays a monk, and these two sister snakes go out into the world and one falls in love with a man. It ends tragically, but I can't remember the name of the movie.

A summoning that goes correctly, but not as planned.

Beyoncé modeling as a Barbie doll.

The Avengers in a newsmagazine spread.

Colored pencils drawings.

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