edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Started making paper fruit for a new counter display at the rental office -- by which I mean I chose line art from online, copypasted it into Word documents (and resized and tweaked until I had about six iterations per page), and printed it out on colored paper. Miss Cactus already started cutting some of them out and adding detail with thin-point Sharpie pens. I am not sure whether I will arrive on Tuesday to a finished display, or whether I will get to do some cutting and coloring myself during any slow periods.

2. Acquired a new houseplant. See, a tenant couldn't bring the plant with them to their new apartment, but felt bad throwing a living thing away, so they brought it to the office and asked if we wanted it. I said yes. I then transplanted it from the dinky plastic store pot into the slightly larger ceramic pot the tenant had been using purely as decoration because apparently transplanting is hard. *sigh* Anyway, hopefully I will manage not to kill it.

3. Put three nails into one side of my oldest bookcase, to hold parts of my paperclip collection. (Context: I string paperclips in chains of ten onto keyrings, 25 chains per ring, and then hang them up for display. All the paperclips must be 'found' items -- I can't purposely buy them -- which is why it has taken me literally twenty years to collect a thousand paperclips. Well. A thousand and three, as of Saturday.)

more items under the cut )

18. Called Vicky and caught up for an hour or so. :)

19. Chopped onions, summer squash, and a large bell pepper and made a batch of veggie sidedish. Tomorrow I intend to bake some chicken.

All in all, I think it was a fairly productive weekend.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Took kitchen compost to communal bin.

2. Called Susan and chatted for an hour and a half. It was good to catch up!

3. Started moving my vegetables outside in the afternoons, to get them used to direct sunlight (instead of sunlight filtered through my kitchen windows).

4. Planted new seeds in three of my squash containers, since only one of my transplants (Meeny) survived. I have put two seeds per container, and will thin as necessary in a few weeks.

more items under the cut )

16. Trimmed the back of the lilac bush, which has to be done every year to make room for my air conditioner. (It grows right up against my front room window, you see.) I will trim the rest of the bush in late May, after it has finished blooming -- it has only just started blooming now, and while the flowers aren't very abundant, they are making a much better showing than in various years past. I definitely think the plant does better when I prune it regularly.

17. Did a smidge of editing work on "Second Chances," which I hope to finish by Monday night. *crosses fingers*
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Okay, regrouping and trying again with Susan's super-belated gift story. As before, constructive feedback is adored. :)

Here is what Susan and I have discussed since I scrapped my previous ideas:

-----

cut for lengthy email exchange )

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So in summary, I'm aiming for a story about a person whose secret involves doing stuff rather than just being something -- and preferably doing something socially responsible but which for [fill in reason] can't be done openly and must be kept secret from the general public. Which would tend to argue for either superheroes or an urban fantasy type thing where either there's a semi-functional Masquerade and anyone who breaks it gets targeted personally rather than just being at risk through random chance, or where anyone with supernatural powers gets considered a potential threat even if they're fighting on humanity's side (maybe there is a reason for that or maybe it's just prejudice, whatever).

I tend to think that superheroes are fundamentally kind of implausible? In that unless you have powers that specifically relate to finding crime (or reaching it really quickly, I suppose), or you have the money and organization to build up a team and a good communication system, you're mostly going to flail around being useless. Also I think the lone fighter thing works better if there really is some kind of societal prejudice preventing people from organizing, and Susan's request assumes a lone fighter without a support team.

So let's go with an urban fantasy thing where humanity is under siege from... I dunno, some magical threat, and there are a few people here and there who accidentally acquire powers from close contact with that threat and sometimes use them to fight back. But because their powers are tied to the threat, they are viewed with great suspicion by a lot of other people, which leads them to mostly fight anonymously.

Character A (secret-keeper) is one of those people. Her day job is... probably something with flexible hours, so, maybe consulting? Or some kind of remote work where she gets a project that needs to be done by Day X but so long as she meets the deadline she can work whenever is convenient for her. Character B (secret-learner) is new to town and meets Character C (love interest) at work. B discovers that C has been locked in this weird dance of "I like you but we never seem to get past a first date" with A and decides to get to know A to determine what the hell is going on because this holding pattern is not emotionally great for C.

B actually ends up liking A on a personal level, but is pissed off at A's persistent unreliability and emotional stonewalling. And then we have the dramatic reveal, where A has to save B's (and maybe C's?) life during an attack.

So. Scene breakdown as follows?

outline breakdown )

The End.

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I kind of want to make B female and C male, just because the standard codified version of this trope has two men conspiring to keep the truth from a woman and I enjoy flipping unnecessarily-gendered tropes. Also, that would allow for a genuinely platonic and mutually-supportive friendship between a woman and a man (B and C) which is sadly rare in fiction. So yeah. Let's go with that.

Now I just need to figure out the specific nature of this Magical Threat, what A's powers are and how they're connected to Magical Threat, what the hell B and C's job is, what activity B and A mutually like to do on Saturdays, and other details I skimmed over in the breakdown.

But that is for another day. :)

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ETA, 3/21/17: Susan requests that I switch scenes 1 and 2, and make two other minor tweaks, but I think we are finally in business! \o/
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Made my weekly Facebook update and spent about half an hour checking up on what my non-fannish friends and acquaintances have been up to. I think this was a good resolution -- I do feel more connected to them, and limiting Facebook use to those once-weekly posts (and maybe two random log-ins during the week to respond to any responses) keeps me from screaming in frustrated rage over Facebook's mind-bogglingly infuriating and anti-helpful user interface, to say nothing of the incessant ads.

2. Paid my monthly internet bill.

3. Planned something I hope to cook on Thursday night (or maybe next Saturday, depending on timing) and added the relevant supplies to my grocery list.

more items under the cut )

20. Trimmed some dead stem sections from my jade plant, and put the still living parts (which had been attempting to grow new roots, except they were not anywhere near dirt so that wasn't doing them a lot of good) into the soil, where hopefully their rooting attempts will be more successful.

21. Planted my squash seeds. I will take photos of them tomorrow, for whatever photos of bare soil in small plastic applesauce cups are worth. *wry*
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
More thinking out loud! As before, constructive feedback is welcomed with open arms. :)

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Here is Susan's prompt, as discussed via telephone and text message: Protagonist (age somewhere between 20 and 40, all other details up to me) has a cool secret, which gets revealed. Other characters are duly impressed. Preferably a world superficially like our own, but with magical/supernatural elements. (This last is because worldbuilding a coherent secondary world in only a couple thousand words can be hard and might detract from the secret and the reveal, which should be the heart of the story.)

Secret-keeping for someone's safety (but not in a cheap or self-justifying way) is an appreciated element.


-----

brainstorming, no outline yet )

Hmmmmmmm.

Suggestions, anyone?

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ETA, 3/3/17: I think one thing I'm tripping over is that worlds 'just like ours' except for one fantastical difference tend to bug me unless the difference only appeared recently. Because logically, history should change! Those worlds should NOT be nearly so close to ours on the surface. I can accept that for reading, but it tends to bug me when I'm writing. (Which is not to say that I don't ever write such worlds, just that there tend to be some significant changes lurking in the background. They may not make it to the textual level in an in-your-face manner, but they're there.) And creating a one-step-removed world and figuring out where it should be the same and where it should be wildly different is actually harder than creating a completely new world from scratch.

...hang on, being called away for work stuff.

-----

Okay, back now, coworker and I figured out the form in question. :)

a wild idea appears! )

Yeah. Okay. I'm doing this. >:DDD

-----

So now I need an actual outline. Argh.

backstory )

I will get back to this after lunch.

-----

ETA, 1:30pm: So, actual outline time, yes? Yes.

no, this doesn't work )

...

Argh, I don't like that. I need more action-drama and less talking-drama. I want Greenleaf to reveal her magic via DOING something -- something big and interesting and obvious -- rather than just telling Clearwater over tea in her kitchen or whatever. So I think we should probably start with... hmm...

Okay, trying again.

this version seems much more functional )

And that is an outline, yay!

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I have now successfully outlined the two things I needed to outline. Next up, finishing the edits on "Second Chances." That shouldn't take too long, except for the minor problem that I can't effectively do that job at work and am often pretty spoonless by the time I get home in the evening. *sigh* But I hope to have that done by next weekend, after which I will finally be able to get to work on my FandomTrumpsHate auction fic. \o/
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Okay. In order of priority, my current writing project lineup goes like this:

1. Finish Cotton Candy Bingo prompt for [livejournal.com profile] wistfulmemory. I know roughly where it's going (as in, I know why the unexpected ambassadors are in the Mountains of Morning, and I know Kazul's going to generally agree to their request/offer), and I have finally managed to find the right arrangement of story elements to lead up to that conversation, but I still need to fit some other stuff around the edges in a hopefully logical way and come up with a good closing paragraph or two, so... a few more days' work, probably. (It's currently at ~1,850 words, FYI. It needs at least 500 more to wrap up, quite possibly more like 1,000. We'll see how that plays out in practice.)

2. Finish editing "Second Chances." Again, I know roughly what I need to insert, and where; the trick will be making it all read smoothly without disrupting what's already there. Another few days.

3. Quick-sketch outline for Susan's very belated gift story. Just set up the scenario, the main characters, and the problem/resolution so I can run them past her and make sure I'm hitting the requested trope correctly without veering into tropes she doesn't like as well. Actual writing will hopefully happen sometime this summer.

4. Quick-sketch outline for Vicky's very belated gift story, because evidently trying to write without one does not work in this particular case. Whimsy needs a framework, or else 'this could go anywhere!' rapidly turns into 'and therefore I have no reason to care.' Again, actual writing will be put off until summer.

5. Start work on Fandom Trumps Hate fic for [personal profile] mme_hardy. We've already emailed a few times to pin down a general prompt and some ancillary details, but I need to work that into an actual outline that can sustain at least 6,000 words of story. And then of course I have to write the story, since I'm not postponing this one until summer! That won't be a hardship; I like the prompt a lot and it involves a bunch of affectionately teasing conversations, which are always fun to write. :)

6. Anything else if inspiration strikes and refuses to go away, but I'm tired enough (argh, work) that I don't think that's terribly likely. *sigh*
edenfalling: colored line-art drawing of a three-scoop ice cream sundae (ice cream sundae)
1. Finished reading Dar┼Ťan: Seeing the Divine Image in India by Diana L. Eck (third edition). This is a short book, only about 90 pages and heavy on photographs (for obvious reasons), but very informative! It's the kind of basic 'here is a concept, here are some things it means to the people who hold it/do it, here are some ways it plays out in practice' introduction to a foundational cultural practice/assumption that is really helpful in understanding anything higher level, but which very often seems to get overlooked and thus leaves people from other cultures floundering without a framework and misinterpreting that higher level stuff because they're using a mismatched set of cultural assumptions.

I am definitely keeping this one.

2. Shoveled the sidewalk when I got home from Not the IRS, because apparently NOBODY ELSE bothered to do that during the FOURTEEN HOURS I was commuting or working. *side-eyes neighbors, hard*

more items under the cut )

...

And now I should be heading to bed, because I have work on Saturday and I would like to finally shake my not-quite-cold rather than let it develop into a full illness. *wry*
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Repotted the section of Mom's erstwhile spider plant that I'd had sitting in water since Thanksgiving. (In summary, Mom was getting rid of a plant, and I said I'd take it. Unfortunately, while they were unpacking at my house, the pot fell out of the car, tipped upside-down, and the plant's various sections got completely disarrayed and squished. I put most of them back together, but this one section's roots were a dead loss and it's been in slow recovery since then. I am still unsure how the plant will do long-term, but I am doing my best to give it a fighting chance.)

more items under the cut )

17. Photographed the heart display in the rental office, downloaded the pictures to my computer, deleted some duplicates and hopelessly blurry ones, and have resolved to get some replacement photos on Saturday. (I will post them all eventually. They're just going to take a while to organize.)

18. Spoke with Susan on the phone for about an hour. :)

19. Got myself unstuck on my Cotton Candy Bingo fill -- if having the unexpected ambassadors interrupt the picnic doesn't work, have the picnic interrupt the unexpected ambassadors instead. *wry*

---------------

And now to bed, because I have another 12-hour shift on Thursday. *headdesk* (I need the money. The money is good. I can sleep in April.)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Texted Susan to reconfirm the details of her gift story, since I forgot to write them down (and therefore forgot them in general).

2. Called Vicky as we'd arranged earlier in the week, but she's kind of swamped right now so we've rescheduled for Wednesday.

more items under the cut )

10. Vacuumed my apartment. I've decided to see if vacuuming in a somewhat slapdash manner makes me less resistant to the chore than doing a really thorough job, and therefore lets me actually keep my apartment cleaner since I'd be vacuuming badly every two to three weeks instead of vacuuming well every two to three months.

(In case you couldn't tell, vacuuming is about my least favorite chore in the universe.)

11. Figured out a plot for my current Cotton Candy Bingo prompt ficlet. It's still not anywhere near finished, but at least now I know where I'm going. :)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. First shift of the year at Not the IRS! ...Where I sat around doing pretty much nothing for five hours, because most people don't have their documents yet, and even if they do, efiling is not yet open for state returns. *sigh* I did make a few phone calls, but that was it. (The mall office is closed this year, so we have to notify all clients who used that office that they should come to the plaza office instead.)

more items under the cut )

13. Touched up Mom's sixth picture frame -- by which I mean, I removed the masking tape (this was harder than usual, since the slight looseness of the frame meant that in several cases the tape was now a couple milimeters under the wood, and I had to pry it out with a knife blade) and applied a final coat of paint to problem areas. I will have to slice off a few bits that smudged over the glass in that process, but as with the laundry, I'll get to that Monday or Tuesday.

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Elizabeth Culmer

June 2017

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