edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Okay, clearly self-motivation is not working fast enough, so.

I am trying to get my WIP Big Bang draft into shape to send to my betas. Saturday evening is my absolute down-to-the-wire final deadline, but I would strongly prefer to get this done sooner -- tonight or sometime on Friday.

So I'm going to post every hour(ish) with a current word count and general progress report, in the hope that this will be enough external motivation to kick me into flow state instead of what I've been doing, which is progress by about three paragraphs per day. *headdesk*

As of ~5pm EDT, the story is at ~18,600 words and I am still bashing the space battle into functional prose instead of its current 'and then and then and then' state.

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~6pm, EDT: 19,050 words, still fighting the stupid space battle.

The problem with translating 'and then and then and then' into actual narrative is A) I elided a LOT of details in the rough version (intentionally; that is what it is FOR) which means now I have to actually come up with them (although not while ALSO coming up with the general shape/movement of the story, since those bones are what the 'and then and then' consists of), and B) I always wind up 'and then and then'ing in vaguely omniscient third person present tense, but the story is in tight-POV third person past tense. This requires some tweaking. *wry*

Anyway, back to the salt mines!

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~7pm, ~19,400 words.

It would have been more, but I ran into a section where my rough draft had something completely factually inaccurate and I had to figure out a replacement that would serve a similar narrative function. *sigh*

And I think I'm going to have similar trouble in the next hour, because I've hit a place where my draft reads, more or less, 'quick summary of events in [place], this is where Character Y's Big Damn Heroes moment should kick off,' without any details about what that Big Damn Heroes moment should be, nor how to logistically pull it off. *headdesk*

Why do I do this to myself???

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~8pm, no change.

I took an hour off for dinner... and also got interrupted by Mormon missionaries, which was MUCH less intentional, but whatever. *wry*

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~9pm, 19,800 words.

I got past one part that I thought would be ridiculously melodramatic and impossible to pull off, and it was... surprisingly not? I mean, I DID lay setup for it several sections earlier, though I think I should probably make that even more pointed on my next revision pass-through.

I also cheated and completely elided the Big Damn Heroes thing because hello, SPACE BATTLE STILL GOING ON HERE. It turns out 'spaceships attack!' is a pretty good functional equivalent of 'ninjas break down the door!' when it comes to abruptly getting out of narrative corners. :p

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~10pm, 20,250 words.

It would have been more, but I got ambitious and spent about twenty minutes looking up some basic stuff about orbital mechanics because occasionally I have delusions that scientific verisimilitude is relevant to space operas. *wry*

Anyway, I think I am nearly done with phase one of the space battle (aka, ships and more ships) and will knock off for the night once I finish that. Tomorrow we move on to phase two (aka, boarding and negotiations), and then the aftermath (during which I will have to finally detail the logistics of the Big Damn Heroes thing I keep cheating my way around *sigh*).

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Okay, done for the night at 20,400 words and ~10:45pm.

Tomorrow, the rest of the space battle PLUS an exciting and dramatic cameo from the crew of the one and only (haha) Enterprise!

...

These space battle scenes are ridiculously long and are going to completely unbalance the story unless I go back and edit in a bunch more stuff in the medical plot. Which I should do. I also need to edit in more character stuff and foreshadowing for the eventual space battle plot so the story doesn't feel so much like it completely jumps genres halfway through, whoops.

(The space battle is necessary because of the original prompt that is the reason I am writing the story at all. I just kind of... got really carried away with the medical plot, so now the fic has two plots that I can hopefully get to work together instead of just kind of lying there giving each other weird looks. *headdesk*)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I hate writing.

So I figured I would write a bonus tiny prompt!ficlet for someone who had left me three options, because the first went a bit diagonal to the prompt and one of the others seemed like the perfect setup for something short and fluffy.

And then it went sideways on me, toward angst (and also three times as long as I wanted it to be), so I couldn't just leave it there...

And now it's gone sideways again back toward fluff, but continuing and elaborating on the theme of responsibility that sent the fic careering toward angst in the first place.

I just. What is even with my brain these days???
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
The problem with endings is that they have to thematically resolve the entire preceding story, which in this case is particularly tricky since I still have not 100% pinned down the thematic arc of the fic and once I do resolve whatever it ends up being, I will have to go back and make sure to write that into existence in the first place.

Um. That made more sense in my head?

But anyway, I think both [thing A] and [thing B] are out, because reasons, and I am not yet sure how to find a third option. Dammit.

...

I'm going to go do laundry and hope the break will let the back of my brain gnaw over the problem and figure something out, because my conscious mind sure as heck isn’t getting anywhere.

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ETA, 10pm

Alas, laundry did not help.

However, I talked through the plot and my problems with my friend Susan on the phone this evening, and she suggested an option that works beautifully. She also made me take a closer look at a tertiary plot arc and realize it needs A) reworking and B) more emphasis, which I think will dramatically improve the story as a whole.

So... I have an ending!

I also have a metric shitton of rewrites, but still. ENDING! :DDD
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Finished arranging transcripts for TC3. (One has not actually been sent yet, because the college in question is operating on an approximately two-week delay, but they have received both the request and the authorization and I should get an email when the thing finally ships.)

2. Photographed my plants and made my weekly post about them. Also added another batch of crushed eggshells to their soil.

3. Made weekly Facebook update.

4. Watered my houseplants.

more items under the cut )

28. TOOK A NAP.

29. Made weekly Facebook update.

30. Finished first mini-ficlet prompt meme fill! \o/

And hopefully I will remember to make these record-keeping posts a little more frequently from now on, because that was kind of ridiculous. *wry*
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I just wanted to write tiny ficlets; how is this fill already 2,800+ words and going to be well over 3,000 before it's done??? *wails in frustration*

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In other writing news, the 'and then' version of the space battle proceeds apace. We are now in the pointed negotiation standoff phase before [thing] and [other thing] happen to resolve the conflict. [Thing] should be pretty easy to pull off, but [other thing] requires me to go back and do some more set-up earlier in my 'and then' section, and probably some other, vaguer set-up in some of my actually correctly written sections. Gnrgh. And I still need a section title for the second space battle segment, because I have sort of a thematic section title thing going on but it doesn't work in these particular circumstances and that bothers me a lot! Double gnrgh.

...You know, I am really going to need a beta for this story. It's over 17,000 words right now, and given that A) it's not done, B) many of those words are placeholders for properly elaborated prose, and C) I need to do a bunch of back-filling in earlier sections which will involve adding even more words, I am quite sure it will be over 20,000 words when finished -- maybe even as many as 25,000.

Is anybody willing to look over a Star Trek: AOS fic of that length featuring almost entirely original characters and dealing with some potentially gross medical issues plus various ethical conundrums?
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I don't feel like embedding twenty-four images, so I'm just going to copypaste the text and the links. Click on the links to access the Tumblr posts, and then click on the images to see larger versions with captions.

Okay? Good. Here goes.

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Gardening update: Friday, 30 June 2017

I took photos of my plants on Wednesday the 21st, before I left on vacation, and I photographed them again today (Friday the 30th). As you can see, they grew a lot!

All four of my squashes seem to be flourishing. A few leaves have been nibbled, and their tubs were full of mulberries and mulberry seedlings, but I spritzed them lightly with insecticide (most of which then washed off in afternoon rainstorms...) and removed the mulberry intrusions with extreme prejudice.

I still think I will eventually have to reposition the tubs so the squash don't overrun the peppers, but they should be okay for another few days at least.

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Gardening update, part 2

And then some ASSHOLE came along and ATE my baby pepper.

*frowns repressively at local squirrel population*

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Gardening update, part 3

Generally speaking, the baby peppers are doing well. The ones with crinkly leaves (which I blame on chemical sensitivity, mostly) are still crinkly, but growing, so I am still pretty sure they'll get past that and put forth less weird leaves in future.

Pepper B5, which was savagely beheaded a while back, continues to recover. It has grown one leaf of reasonable size (though somewhat peculiar shape), and is now attempting a second.

Pepper E6, on the other hand, has not grown much at all, and frankly I'm starting to wonder if it might be this year's Lazarus pepper -- i.e., afflicted with fusarium wilt. Anyway, I sprayed fungicide around its roots, and hopefully that will help.

Peppers C6 and D1 were apparently just a little too close to the artificial waterfall that pours down from the gutter right over my kitchen window, as their planter's soil is drenched. I nudged the planter a couple inches southward, and am considering putting some kind of cover over the dirt tomorrow morning since there's a lot of rain predicted for Saturday.

And I think that's everything for now. :)

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Gardening update: Sunday, 2 July 2017

I rearranged everything today, because the squash were getting large enough to overshadow the nearby peppers and I would kind of like the peppers not to die. *wry* I will probably leave Sethera, Azer, and Covera roughly where they are, but Tan (the smallest squash, in the foreground) still lacks a permanent home.

(I know where you probably think I should put it, based on this photo. And I would do that, except the logical position -- to the right of Sethera and in front of Covera -- is exactly where the gutter waterfall crashes down and I have no interest in smashing and/or drowning my plants.)

The other development of note is that SETHERA IS BLOOMING!!! :DDD Squash flowers are so pretty, and soon I will have actual summer squash to pick and chop and store in the freezer... and probably also foist off on unsuspecting neighbors and members of my church, as one does. But right now I am mostly at the YAY FLOWERS!!! stage, which is a very pleasant stage indeed. :DDD
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
six pepper seedlings in black plastic planters . five pepper seedlings in plastic planters and pots

1. peppers A2, A4, A6, B1, B3, and B5 - Monday, 19 June 2017
2. peppers C2, C4, C6, D1, and D3


three images under the cut )


As you can see, I have rearranged my peppers. Actually I had them rearranged for a while -- not in this exact configuration, which I adopted a couple days ago because I wanted to space out the squash planters a little -- but differently from the groups-of-six I was using for photos. This is because Landlord Dude has yet to fix the damn gutter on the back of the house, and consequently any rain harder than a drizzle (or that lasts longer than half an hour) turns the gutter into a waterfall that happens to be right over one of my kitchen windows/my back porch. So I make sure none of my poor plants are right under the cascade, because they are small and tender and do not deserve to be punched repeatedly in the metaphorical face. *wry*

As you can also see, I have staked sixteen of the peppers. I did not stake E6 because it's growing noticeably slower than the others, but I think I will do so Wednesday evening because I will be leaving on vacation Thursday morning and I am quite sure it will need a stake before I get home a week later. I also didn't stake B5 because the poor dear is only just beginning to recover from its savage beheading -- it is growing a new leaf! Life finds a way!

Pepper D5 has something wrong with its leaves. I suspect it may have caught some residue from the fungicide/insecticide I sprayed on the Lazarus pepper a couple weeks ago, but the newest tiny leave seem on track to be normal rather than crumpled, so I trust it will do all right in the long run.


two images under the cut )


tiny green bell pepper on a pepper plant

8. the Lazarus pepper - Monday, 19 June 2017 (OMG AN ACTUALFAX PEPPER!!!)


And last but not least, the Lazarus pepper bloomed! The first bud opened on Wednesday, and as of today that first flower has lost its petals (heavy rain, what can you do?) to reveal an ACTUALFAX PEPPER. It is so tiny. And so cute. :DDD

I continue to fight a rearguard action against the evils of the white mulberry tree. You have no idea how many berries I have to sweep off the porch every day, or pick out of the pots and planters, to say nothing of the infinite mulberry seedlings I have to uproot and toss away.

(If you haven't realized by now? I hate mulberry trees. I mean, they are probably lovely trees in an orchard, or out in the woods where they can do their own thing without bothering anyone, but trust me, you do NOT want them in your yard. Not in a million years. They are a MENACE.

Also they attract squirrels, but that is a separate problem.)


four images under the cut )


Meanwhile, unidentified marauders (*cough* squirrels *cough*) tried to uproot Tan and/or shred its stem again, but so far as I can tell the leaves retain enough connection to the root system to stay alive. Also I have buried the long, floppy part of the stem under even more potting soil -- I did the same for Sethera while I was at it -- and have tried to prop up the vertical parts of the plants such that they have proper support and won't tip over under their own weight as the grow.

Azer and Covera, of course, do not suffer from this problem as they never went through a floppy phase of growing sideways in search of the sun, and are both growing great guns. I am fairly sure their mutual end goal is to devour my porch. Sethera and Tan probably share this ambition, though they are not quite as well-placed to follow through on it. *wry*

I have spaced out the four planters a little bit, but I am beginning to think that I may have to move one or two of them off the porch entirely. I am not sure where else they could go. Down in the yard among the raspberry canes? (Which survived last year's drought and have put up slightly alarming amounts of new growth; I think they want to devour my porch as well, though from below rather than from above.) In the front yard behind the shelter of the hedge? In the driveway beside the trash cans?

I will have to consider this before they get too big to move...


[[original Tumblr post (peppers), for when the embedded images inevitably break ; original Tumblr post (squash), for when the embedded images inevitably break]]
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I am jammed up on the projects I need to finish -- if you think this is deeply frustrating, you would be correct -- and would like to unstick myself via some short prompt!fic.

So. Mini-ficlet prompt meme time!

Here is my Genprompt Bingo card.

For those who prefer lists to graphics, the open squares are Northern / Southern Lights, Midnight, Extraordinary, Pipes and Beer, Fundamental Particles, Butcher / Baker / Candlestick-maker: Tradesman, Introspection, Light-Hearted, Holiday Cottages, Heart on Sleeve, WILD CARD, Suicide, Another year older: Birthdays, Monsoon, Three Wishes, The Age of Reason, Steadfast, Trust, Second Person Narration, Space AU, Takeout, Apocalypse.

If you would like to claim any of the open squares, please leave a comment with one to three characters, a prompt from the card, and a scenario, and I will write you a ficlet of at least 100 words.

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Obligatory small print:

1. I reserve the right to veto any fandoms I don't know well enough to write, and ask you to please try again.

2. Crossover prompts are fine. On the vanishingly unlikely chance anyone wants to read a snippet from any of my original worlds and stories, that kind of prompt is also fine.

3. In this challenge, WILD CARD means to grab any prompt from the complete Genprompt Bingo prompt list. I reserve the right to veto any such wild card substitutions and ask you to please try again.

4. Requests do not have to be gen! Just be aware that I'm not great at romance, so if you request shipfic, it will come out fairly low-key and may end up as ambiguous gen anyway.

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Also, special offer! If you have scenarios I could used to fill the last two squares on my Cotton Candy Bingo card -- the prompt words in question are 'soft' and 'free' -- I will write you a ficlet of at least 500 words. (I have ficlets I'm trying to write for both of those, but they have been stuck for a while, so I'm game to take suggestions that might end up flowing better.)

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Fill List:

1. Whose Allegiance Is Ruled by Expedience - 1,600 words. How about the tradesman for an OC view on some part of the Naruto story line? Written 5/22/17 for [personal profile] the_rck. [Tumblr crosspost; AO3 crosspost]

2. I Am the One Who Lives with the Ocean - 700 words. Calliope/Roxy, having a cuddlepile on Earth C after all the fireworks have died down. Basically, what we can do now that we don't have to do anything. Written 6/4/17 for [personal profile] mme_hardy. [Tumblr version; AO3 version]
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Apropos of nothing in particular! A couple days ago I started manually forwarding all the spam messages I was getting from that dating site (Plenty of Fish) to their PR address (pr@pof.com), since my attempt to 'reset' the non-existent account's non-existent password didn't work, that was the only electronic contact method I could find after a good half hour of searching, and I couldn't tell which of the various phone numbers and physical addresses I found were actually real and up to date.

(For the record? Not having your contact information clearly displayed on your home page, including a customer service email address to deal with complaints not covered by your unfeasibly minimal preset forms, is deeply skeevy.)

Anyway, the first round of forwarding won me nearly twelve hours without spam. Then I got another burst, forwarded them all (with a copypasted "I don't have an account with your service. Stop sending me email" message appended), and have now been spam-free (...from that source) for nearly twenty-four hours.

I have doubtless jinxed myself just now, of course, but I trust if I make myself enough of a nuisance the POF staff will either fix the problem or just give up and block me, which should hopefully render me invisible to the spam-sending part of their email program. *crosses fingers*

(...I have also been marking every single one of their messages as a phishing attempt, which is untrue and probably wrong of me, but that is the only other weapon in my arsenal at the moment; of course I'm going to use it.)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
About five days ago, some asshole used my legal name email address to sign up for a Spanish-language internet dating site. Since then, I have been getting at least 100 emails a day from that site, to the general effect of 'Legal-First-Name-Random-String-of-Numbers has received a new message' or 'Random-Name-Who-Is-Probably-a-Bot has done something in relation to your post/profile/message/what-the-hell-ever'. (I would be more specific except I do not speak Spanish and don't entirely trust Google's auto-translate function.)

I mean, Gmail knows they are spam and duly files them as such, but still!

I can't even unsubscribe from the damn thing, since that would require knowing what password the asshole created when they used my email to sign up. *headdesk*

The site, for those who may be curious, is Plentyoffish Media Inc. #142-757 West Hastings St., PMB 670, Vancouver, BC V6C1A1. Their web address is pof.com.mx. (Are they Canadian or Mexican? Who knows!)

I feel like I should write them an annoyed letter or something.

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Elizabeth Culmer

August 2017

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