edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Today is Betapalooza reveal day! I did not write any treats, alas, but I did complete my assigned story and I think it's pretty good. :-)

The Snow Queen: A Story in Six Parts: Back in the days when meteors still fell from the sky in dozens at a time, a girl and a boy grew up next door to each other in the shadow of a fallen city. They were as close as sister and brother (And maybe they were! It's hard to say, since so many people lost their families back then and were taken in by strangers), and in three seasons of the year they played together every day in the garden around the girl's house, where nothing grew but roses and even they were mostly thorns.

Of course, it couldn't last. (6,650 words, for [archiveofourown.org profile] light_rises)

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So, thoughts!

My recipient, [archiveofourown.org profile] light_rises, made the following prompt: Fairy tale crossovers? Fairy tale crossovers. This time featuring our kids in "The Snow Queen", with Jade filling Gerda's role and John Kai's. I'm not firm on Rose and Dave, and in fact I'd love to see what you come up with there! I’m DEF cool with looseness to the retelling - e.g. combine a couple characters? HELL yes, go for it - just so long as the core plot of TSQ remains more or less intact. Bonus points for: working in some Homestuck canon mythos where appropriate; making some other sweet role matches with other HS characters; ending it with all the kids together (John not being able to meet the others is too /sad/, dammit).

People who haven't been following me long may not be aware of this, but fairy-tales are one of my oldest, deepest, and most abiding loves. I overdosed on them as a child, I write retellings of them for fun, I write original fairy-tales of my own, and I love excuses to work fairy-tale elements into fanfiction. (Check the fable/fairy-tale tag on my journal if you want proof.) OBVIOUSLY this was the prompt I picked to work with!

I spent a week or so rereading Anderson's story and figuring out how to fit Rose and Dave into roles that would be both thematically relevant and also get them to the Snow Queen's palace along with Jade, the latter being trickier since Gerda's helpers tend to remain in their own sub-stories rather than accompany her. Rose was relatively easy, mostly because of her name: you see, the way Gerda recovers her memories while living with the old woman learned in magic is by spotting a fake rose on the woman's hat, which she forgot to hide, and which reminds Gerda of her own rosebushes and thus of Kai. Clearly this time the spell would break when Jade learned Rose's name. I decided not to make Rose a witch herself, but to make her the witch's daughter; Mom Lalonde therefore enchants Jade because she wants to give Rose a friend. (That's mostly there because of Rose's canonical family issues.)

Dave was trickier. I knew immediately that the robber girl had to be a combination of Vriska and Terezi (though the exact way they split the role didn't come clear until I wrote the section in question), which meant Dave was narratively equivalent to the captive reindeer. Which is. Um. Kind of structurally awkward? But there was really no other way to fit him in, so I had to do some logistical juggling around their transportation from that point onward.

Anyway, I had a basic rough outline several weeks before the due date, but I had the damndest time actually making myself sit down and write. (Depression sucks like that.) Fortunately I got an extension and at least for me, the adrenaline of deadline pressure does a lot to mitigate any lack of spoons and concentration I am otherwise experiencing, plus I was on the tail end upswing of that particular blue funk so I was able to meet my revised deadline and then make useful edits -- sticking more rose-and-crow foreshadowing into the second scene, tidying logistical loose ends, adding some vague gestures toward emotional character arcs, etc. -- before the stories went live.

There are some further notes about structural choices and character cameos in the endnotes of the story itself, which I won't reproduce here on account of spoilers. I will say, though, that I am tickled pink that AO3 has a 'Friendship Is Magic' tag and that I got to use it, because in this fic that statement is absolutely literally true. :-D
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. I cleaned the final quarter of my back porch today! \o/ I got a little slapdash when it came to the actual steps down to the yard, but hey, whatever, it's done. I've sprinkled some detergent-with-bleach over the whole thing and am now waiting for it to rain and hopefully sort of soak that into the wood. Then I will spray for squirrels, and then I will move my first batch of peppers outdoors.

I think I'll repot them tomorrow, in anticipation. :-)

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2. The Ithaca Festival started yesterday with the traditional one-mile-run and the parade, which I swear gets longer every year. I don't know if it also gets weirder every year -- new weirdness may simply replace old weirdness rather than augmenting it -- but if you ever wanted to know if Ithaca was the right community for you, my advice would be to come watch the parade and if you feel a sense of, "Yes, these are my people" rather than, "OMGWTFBBQ?!?!" you'll probably fit right in. *wry*

I kind of split the difference, I think? At any rate, I definitely count as right-wing around here, which never stops being hilarious (and a little scary, tbh).

Anyway, I decided not to march with my church's 150th anniversary ukulele union (don't ask. seriously, don't ask) and just watched from the sidelines since the route runs right through my neighborhood and I can walk there in five minutes, easy.

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3. Tomorrow is haircut day. Yes.

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4. Wednesday was my church's annual meeting. I've rarely been able to get to them, because of working closing shifts at the smoke shop, but I believe in voting and also in cheap dinners supplied by other people, so of course I went this year. :-) End result: delicious pizza in my stomach, an annual budget approved, and several people elected to the Board of Trustees, the nominating committee, and the settled ministerial search committee. (I did mention our minister quit as of last December, right? Because that's still a thing that happened.)

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5. I have four stories left to read in the Betapalooza archive, which I would like to get done before authors are revealed on Monday. This will necessarily render my own story blatantly obvious, since it will be the only one I haven't commented on, but eh, so it goes. I'd also kind of like to make a rec list, though I'm not entirely certain it's worth the effort since the archive is so small: only 31 works.

(Speaking of which, do go check out the Betapalooza fics and art! The general quality is very high!)

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6. I wrote a 15-minute ficlet except I couldn't think of a functional ending within the time limit, and now it's been about two hours and I still can't think of a functional ending, which is really annoying. I think I'll go reheat some dinner and then stare at the document yet again in hopes that this time words will magically appear in my brain.

Yeah. Sounds like a plan.
edenfalling: colored line-art drawing of a three-scoop ice cream sundae (ice cream sundae)
Drop whatever you are doing and go read my AMAZING Betapalooza gift. NOW.

Morning and Evening, Day and Night: Rose and Dave, Mobiles of the Ekumen, find more than they expected when they visit O. Jade/Rose/John/Dave. (23,000 words) [ETA: by [archiveofourown.org profile] digimaniac33]

I don't know what I did to be this lucky, but seriously, twenty-three thousand words of sedoretu fic! With culture clashes, and people being emotionally honest even when they're not very well equipped for it, and focus on all the individual component twosomes (including the platonic sibling relationships), and some really neat implicit contrasts drawn between the Harleybert family and the Strilonde family, and lots of everyday details of life on a farm, and then a happy ending to top it all off. I may have died a little bit from sheer happiness!

Seriously, this is like Christmas and my birthday all rolled into one and I need everyone to go shower my mystery gifter in the praise they deserve!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Lalala, I am editing my Betapalooza fic!

I've added 600 words already, and I still have two narrative gaps to smooth over plus two final scenes to elaborate, so I expect the revised draft as a whole will be a good thousand words longer than the rough version I posted on AO3 to meet the deadline. Some of this is just giving more narrative weight to one of the beta kids, so the quartet doesn't come off unbalanced, but other parts are an attempt to inject greater emotional reality and also narratively foreshadow some stuff.

I don't think I am writing deathless prose here, nor is it my best work, but it's structurally interesting and hopefully charming in overall effect. (Also, I feel I am being incredibly non-anonymous, but perhaps it only seems that way to me since I know exactly how up my alley this particular prompt was.)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
The ICSD election was on Tuesday, with polls open 12-9pm. There were eight candidates running for four slots on the school board, plus budget approval and permission to take money from the capital fund to buy some new buses. The budget and purchase request both passed, and two of the four people I voted for were elected.

School elections tend to get really low voter turnout, but I figure that A) voting is a responsibility as well as a right, and B) if you don't vote, you have no justification for complaining until the next election, because you didn't even try to make a difference. I kind of like complaining about stuff, so... *wry*

I voted at about 12:15 and hit the road shortly thereafter, taking Dottie home to NJ. While in Madison, I had dinner with my parents (who arrived perhaps an hour after I did) and then went over to Susan's place to hang out. This involved sort of half-watching The Legend of Drunken Master on Netflix, because she was in the mood for comedy, I was in the mood for action/adventure, and we figured it's hard to go wrong with Jackie Chan. :-) In brief, Jackie Chan was about ten years too old to be really believable in his role but likable as always, the first twenty minutes or so seems like a bunch of completely disconnected and unrelated plots but they do eventually pull together (except the factory stuff, which I'm pretty sure was only there to provide a cool setting for the climactic fight scenes), and it's really refreshing to have an action film that doesn't bother creating an extraneous love interest. Also, that is not how alcohol works, but what the hell, Rule of Funny trumps biology, I guess.

On Wednesday Mom and I drove back north to Ithaca, where she helped me install my air conditioner -- just in time for the weather to take a three-day plunge back into early April temperatures. *sigh* Oh well, I'll need the blasted contraption in another week or two, I'm sure, and while I can take it out on my own, the installation really requires a minimum of three hands.

In other local news, for the past couple weeks road crews have been redoing the sidewalks along the corners of N. Tioga St. in an attempt to make them handicapped-accessible. In several cases, this did lower the concrete to street level, but in other cases it only succeeded in reducing the height differential from four inches to two inches. But! I now know why the workers weren't especially careful about making the concrete and asphalt line up.

It's because they've now ripped up the entire surface of Tioga from Lewis St. south to the bridge over Cascadilla Creek. I am in favor of that, don't get me wrong! The street has needed repaving for years. But it's going to be interesting for a while.

And now I should get back to revising my Betapalooza fic (because it's complete and functional as posted, but would be much better with an additional scene in the middle and some more detailed character work), and possibly writing a couple fills for the Daredevil kinkmeme, because, um, reasons. Yes.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
This year, because personalized gifts are nice, I gave my sister a story for her birthday. Except there's a catch: I haven't written it yet.

This is because she gets to tell me what to write. :-)

Today Vicky finally got back to me with her parameters, and now I have six months to turn them into coherent fiction with a 2000-word minimum length. Her idea and characters are pretty fun, and strike a good balance between giving me a framework and giving me freedom to be creative. I asked her some clarifying questions about a few points, and I think we're on the same page with regard to tone and general structure.

(I think, with luck, the end result might even be commercially viable? But eh, that's very much a secondary concern.)

We shall see what happens!

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In other prompt!fic news, [livejournal.com profile] rosaxx50, I am working on your ficlet, I swear. I've just had a hard time knocking my brain into the right narrative voice.

[livejournal.com profile] aishuu, I don't think I can do Peter at university, but the other ideas look promising. I'll see if any of them click with a [community profile] 15_minute_ficlets word.

And of course I am working on my Betapalooza assignment. Thus far, I have a rough outline and have assigned roles to all four beta kids plus some other Homestuck characters, but I'm still sorting out some details and haven't started writing the actual story yet.

So you know, I am plinking away at stuff. :-)
edenfalling: stained-glass butterfly in a purple frame (butterfly)
Note: I am repurposing my stock Yuletide letter here, which is why some of the sections may seem slightly off-topic for a single fandom exchange.

Hi, and thank you in advance for creating a story or artwork for me! I'm pretty easy to please -- unless you write a context-free sex scene, I'll be thrilled just to get something in response to one of my prompts. Optional details are optional, after all! *grin* But I realize that's not terribly helpful, so here's the (very!) long version. (I am sorry for the tl;dr, but I like to talk about things I love and I figure more details are better than fewer.)

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General Information )

Okay. On to specific prompts.

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1. Girl Genius AU )

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2. Sedoretu AU )

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3. Accidental Relationship? )

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4. Four Against the Condesce )

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And that is that! Once again, thank you in advance and best of luck in your creative endeavors. ♥

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edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Elizabeth Culmer

June 2017

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