edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I intended to do revisions/fleshing out on "Intervention" today during slow periods at work, but ended up working on my next prompt meme ficlet instead. And, uh. I have a frame story now, to put around the folktale, but somehow without any obvious warning signs, I seem to have slid into A) wild AU territory and B) the most blatant id!fic I have written in... uh... years. Maybe even all the way back to Knives, which remains my gold standard for blatant and shameless display of my id all over the page. (Also I love that fic like burning. When id!fic works, it works.)

I mean, when I say id!fic I really mean 'id!fic discounting anything I write about Jadis,' because that is always id!fic, no matter how frozen it may seem in practice. But my sociopath kink is id!fic in such a radically different direction from what I am currently writing that I am not sure it really counts as the same thing at all. (Even though the female agency and the issues about religion and/or ethics are present in both, because hello, have you MET me?)

Anyway, this project is more like, hmm, a sideways cousin to my torture kink? Except not torture, but absolutely all the control aspects, and also fem!dom even though I don't know if the central relationship will ever tip into anything sexual. Mostly it's just about intensity and power and trust and control/lack of control.

...Maybe a little torture, I dunno, we'll see how it plays out. *sheepish*

Also I need to get my AU backstory in order because dammit, I need an internally consistent framework to hang this on. I don't care if the story is a thin excuse for folktales and my naked id; the worldbuilding will still make sense. Or else.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Took weekly Monday photographs of my vegetables, but forgot to post them online. Ah well. I will do a two-weeks-in-one post this coming Monday.

2. Walked to the Cayuga St. bridge to watch my town's fireworks display at 9:45pm Monday night. (Ithaca usually does fireworks a day or two before the 4th. I am not sure when or why that offset started, but at this point it's a tradition and continues through sheer inertia.)

3. Wrote four fic DVD commentaries. :)

more items under the cut )

21. Applied to TC3! (I mean, I fudged some dates because I don't remember the exact end dates of my association with my high school and previous colleges. I can tell you month and year, sure! But exact day? Pfff, no. I assume they will understand and cut me slack on that front.) Tomorrow I will start arranging for transcripts. I believe I can do that online for the two colleges. For my high school, I think I have to make a phone call, so that will wait for Monday.

22. Emailed Vicky about some super-secret plans we may or may not be conspiring over. ;)

And that is that!

For the record? My productivity was wildly uneven this week. Points 1 through 8 took four days (Monday-Thursday), whereas points 9-22 were all done in a single day (Friday). This is because I knocked my sleep schedule completely out of whack and did not manage to yank it back on track for several days, during which I kind of zombied around doing nothing in particular. I can't even say I was relaxing and enjoying myself; I was mostly just going through the motions and hoping some spark of emotion/inspiration would light me up.

I really need to stop letting my sleep schedule drift. That is utterly devastating to my ability to be a functional person.
edenfalling: golden flaming chalice in a double circle (gold chalice)
For my own reference, I want to make an electronic copy of the covenant my congregation voted to adopt at our annual meeting last month. I am dissatisfied with it in numerous ways, but it is a living document so I hope at least some of those can be changed.

(I also wish I had been able to attend some of the previous discussion meetings about the covenant, but alas, work and other things got in the way.)

Also, yes, the preamble/explanation of what a covenant even IS is part of the document. That is probably the part that annoys me the most. Dictionaries exist! And sacred promises should sound like sacred promises, not like assembly minutes. :(

-----

A Covenant is a set of sacred promises that Unitarian Universalists make with each other to guide and support their communities.

First Unitarian Society of Ithaca adopts this covenant to sustain our commitment to each other, affirm our connections when we struggle, and form the foundation of our respectful relationships with each other and the world.

We covenant to:

Be together in community, guided by love and respect.
Be open, friendly, and welcoming to all.
Be engaged in congregational life.

Communicate compassionately, directly, and honestly.
Listen deeply and kindly to each other.
Believe in others' best intentions.

Support and inspire each other's quest for truth and meaning
Acknowledge, respect, and value our differences.
Work to serve our community's shared goals.


-----

(The missing period in the final trio is copied faithfully from the original document.)

-----

The covenant I grew up with (and adored) is a variation of a common UU covenant, which my childhood minister introduced for communal recitation early in each service as follows:

"Knowing that neither this nor any other form of words will ever be used as a creedal test, I invite you to join me in the covenant:

"Love is the doctrine of this church,
The quest for truth is its sacrament,
And service is its prayer.
To dwell together in peace,
To seek knowledge in freedom,
To serve life in fellowship
To the end that all souls shall grow in harmony,
Thus do we covenant with each and with all."


...

I think you can see why I am dissatisfied with my own church's new covenant? It does not fill the same emotional/ritual slot AT ALL. And if you're not going to fill that slot, why call your thing a covenant? You could just as easily call it a preamble to the bylaws and put it there, where its dryness would be a much better tonal fit.

*grumps ineffectively at the universe*
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Since Vicky got into writing M/M ebook romances, she's occasionally prodded at me to maybe file off the serial numbers from some of my fics or write something new specifically for profit. And mostly I make vaguely noncommittal noises because I am bad at schedules and also romance, but. I think about it now and then, you know?

So last night I was making a list of things that might be workable as novellas or short-ish novels, and it occurred to me that over the years there has been a slow but distinct change in the types of relationships I'm most interested in writing.

cut for length, etc. )

Anyway, I should get back to working on actual fiction.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Dental appointment at 8:15am. My teeth are fine, yay! The office manager was out for the week because of some unspecified life crisis, so I did not pay my bill on Monday (the hygienists have not been trained to work the billing program -- scheduling yes, financials no) but I should receive one in the mail sometime this coming week.

2. Made my weekly Facebook update.

3. Emailed the DRE about summer and fall youth group plans. I have not yet heard back, but I will try to corner her in person on Sunday and chat for a few minutes.

4. Caught a bus out to the mall and watched Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which I enjoyed A LOT. :D

more items under the cut )

19. Bought groceries.

20. Repotted my peppers!

...

You will note that I still have not cooked the fajitas for which I did ingredient prep last week. The containers of sliced onion, pepper, and chicken have been sitting in the freezer for a week and a half now. I may try to get that dealt with tomorrow night, but give that I will already be baking brownies (church obligations), I am inclined to doubt I will manage the fajitas until Monday. *sigh*

I failed to get any writing done whatsoever -- like, I got a couple hundred words toward a prompt response, but there were aimless twaddle, totally unusable, and I haven't managed to get any of the slightly less awful ideas onto a page. Blargh.

I think, on the balance of evidence, that I have probably been stuck in a mild blue funk for the past couple weeks. I hadn't noticed sooner because I haven't felt particularly disconnected (one of my main depressive symptoms), but I have definitely been suffering from executive dysfunction (aka, lack of can-do), disordered sleeping patterns, and a general lack of enthusiasm for things I would normally enjoy. I also may have fic-binged a couple times, which is a telling symptom even without the disconnection that usually triggers it.

There is really nothing to do except try to fight the disordered sleeping patterns and wait it out. And maybe to grit my teeth and force myself to write, because that CAN be done and I do generally feel a lot better for up to a full day after completing some kind of creative work in the face of my brain's attempt to paint the whole world gray. I guess I'll see if I have any free time at work tomorrow to get that prompt response pinned down.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
You know what? I'm going to post the terrible poetry after all.

All spelling, capitalization, and punctuation faithfully reproduced (though you are missing half the effect of the purple ink and my weird handwriting). I have inserted line breaks between the poems for clarity, though the original text marks them only by a single blank line.

cut for length and embarrassment )

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

Now I kind of want to find twelve- or thirteen-year-old me, give her a hug, promise her she'll make it at least to age thirty-five without humanity blowing up the planet, and gently suggest that if she wants to keep on writing poetry, she might find the constraints of strict poetic forms a useful challenge. *wry*
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Mom had a small pile of stuff she wanted to give me, which she set aside in a safe place so she'd remember to bring all the items up to Ithaca last weekend when she and Dad visited. Of course this meant she forgot to bring them. *wry*

Anyway, yesterday I received a very carefully packed and taped box containing:

1. A current registration card for the Camry (Ardis's old car, which has become our family's pass-around extra car), to replace my expired one from last year.

2. Two small square bars of Erbario Toscana soap, one orange and one yellow, because I like fancy scented soaps for my bathroom handsoap and Mom had no use for them.

3. Various newspaper clippings she thinks I should read.

4. A bottle of vitamin E nail and cuticle oil, which supposedly helps with both brittle/fragile fingernails (not a problem I have) and overly dry cuticles and surrounding skin, such that they tend to spontaneously split and bleed (a problem I definitely DO have). Mom started using that this past winter and now swears by it.

5. Three pages of terrible poetry I wrote in purple pen and then gave to one of my grandmothers, probably when I was twelve or so. (I have no memory of the poems, but I was really into purple ink for a couple years in my early adolescence and I think my handwriting looks about right for that age.) I think Mom and Dad wound up with papers from all three of my grandmothers, so I'll have to ask to figure out who I inflicted this stuff on.

6. A white tablecloth Mom took to NJ after Thanksgiving to wash and forgot to give back until just now.

7. Two pairs of trousers and one t-shirt for me to try on.

8. A box of four Cadbury Creme Eggs, because they are my delicious and terrible downfall. :)

...

I kind of want to transcribe and post the poetry, just as a reminder to myself and the world that thirteen-year-old kids tend to get terribly overwrought about EVERYTHING. It's embarrassing in retrospect (and sometimes even at the time), but it's normal and over the years I've come to look back on my younger self with at least as much affection as pained winces. *wry*
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
So back in March I mentioned the Mosedale creative writing contest that the Star Island Protective League runs in the Loon (our annual newsletter/directory), and later mentioned that I'd written and submitted something for the 2017 contest.

The Loon has now been published -- my parents received their copy today -- and I may have won? \o/ There is a $50 prize associated with the contest, but really, I am just happy I got a thing printed and people seem to have liked it. :)

Anyway, now that the Loon is out, I am going to post the story here as well.

-----

Summary: "Don't buy tiny fruit trees," Nic said obediently. (750 words)

Oranges and Lemons )

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

...If I do get $50 out of this endeavor, I just might buy a tiny orange tree of my own, because reasons. *wry*
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Watered my houseplants. I also saved two of my peppers from a bout of dehydration, via emergency watering and temporary toothpick stakes to lean on. I keep forgetting how fast the peat pellets dry out. :/

2. Failed to floss my teeth Monday night because I was so tired from working 8:30am-9pm at Not the IRS (plus travel time). This is noteworthy since I think that is the ONLY time I have failed to floss my teeth since I started my "if you don't floss, your mouth and teeth will feel gross and be totally icky" campaign, which, considering how many years I had previously spent trying and failing to make flossing a daily habit -- I tried guilt and shame, I tried logic, I tried financial panic (cavities are stupidly expensive to fix), I tried flossing at work on my lunch breaks, etc. -- really says something about the power of revulsion as a motivating factor.

The problem, of course, is that revulsion is horrifically easy to misuse. But I think in this particular case, it helps a lot more than it hurts.

3. Imported my Livejournal to Dreamwdith, which, um, ran into some problems.

4. Opened a mini-ficlet prompt meme. (I am still taking ficlet requests, if anyone is interested!)

5. Bought groceries.

6. Attended the Stewardship committee meeting on Thursday night. I now have a list of people to call in the second round of "please pledge money, we can't run a church by wishing," and I will call them... Sunday afternoon, probably. *adds to to-do list*

7. Boiled a dozen eggs.

8. Wrote three prompt ficlets. I am still working on a fourth, but I couldn't finish it before work got busy and I hit the exhausted and brain-fried portion of my day. (Another 8:30am-9pm shift today, joy. By the time I leave the rental office tomorrow, I will have worked 60 hours this week. And next week I get to do it all again! What fun! (Kill me now.))

9. Wrote twelve thank-you notes to church members who have already pledged for the 2017-18 fiscal year. I got six of them into the mail for Saturday morning pickup, and will drop the other six off on my way to work in the morning. The remaining six envelopes are stamped and return-addressed, and I will write the cards tomorrow.

10. Changed the scented wax in my wax melter.

11. Backed up my computer onto my external hard drive, which I really ought to do more frequently. I wonder if there's a way to harness revulsion for that task as well...?

And now to bed. Mmmm, bed.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I spent last night sort of idly spinning ideas for a Daredevil A/B/O fic of the sudden-change-inflicted-on-a-previously-normal-world type (because A/B/O is one of my bingo card squares, and I think one of the best ways to get to grips with a trope is to try writing it) and...

Well. Occasionally it becomes really obvious that I'm asexual, because I drifted off into alien retroviruses transmitted via magic spells, three-caste social pack systems and their awkward overlay on human sexual dimorphism, varying development/exhibition of A/B/O traits based on the presence or absence of a more socially dominant member of one's caste (similar to arrested development of secondary sex characteristics in male orangutans, because that's always struck me as fascinating), and the whole porn aspect got almost completely lost along the way. I had to keep reminding myself that hey, there's supposed to be a sex thing here, right? This is a porn trope, right?

Apparently my hindbrain disagrees!

Possessive behavior, sure. Pheromones, sure. Marking bites, sure. People dealing with bodies gone strange and unfamiliar, sure. I am totally into that stuff. But bluntly, I don't often find sex especially sexy. Power and fangs and stuff like that are way the hell more of a turn-on, as is found family, pack bonding, and people renegotiating social relationships. Meanwhile, sex qua sex can go hang for all I care; I do not need to interrupt my delicious plot and character dynamics with random bedroom grunting. *wry*

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Elizabeth Culmer

August 2017

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