edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I did not cook yesterday because I felt cruddy by the time I got out of work and mostly just wanted to sleep. But! I feel better today (and have also acquired a zester), so.


Poll #18473 Blue Apron experiment, take #1
This poll is closed.
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 7


Which meal should Liz cook for dinner tonight?

View Answers

crispy catfish & spicy vegetable curry (with charred lime)
2 (28.6%)

seared steaks & salsa verde (with fingerling potatoes, asparagus, & radishes)
5 (71.4%)




ETA 8:30pm: Thank you all for your help!

However, as [tumblr.com profile] longroadstonowhere pointed out over on Tumblr, fish is likely to go bad faster than beef, and so should probably be cooked first. On that principle, I am attempting the catfish curry thing. I have read the recipe thoroughly, set out the necessary dishes and whatnot, and chopped all the ingredients. (Also I am going with four garlic cloves rather than two because I like garlic.)

I am now about to turn on the heat and attempt curry. Wish me luck!

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ETA, 10:00pm: The recipe as written estimated ~40 minutes cook time. In the event, I turned on the heat for the curry around 8:50pm and finished cooking around 9:45pm, which is about 15 minutes longer than advertised. This is mostly because potatoes always take longer to soften/brown than recipes think they should, and I KNOW this and I am not sure why I forgot. *sigh*

The recipe claims to serve two. I think it produces at least four portions of curry, and three portions of fish. I preemptively discarded the cilantro garnish (I am not one of the people to whom it tastes like soap or soapy mud; I just think it tastes like muddy grass, and why would I want to eat that?), and after attempting a couple bites, I have also discarded the charred lime half because WOW it is bitter and not adding anything useful to the dish since the curry was already cooked with a lime leaf and seasoned with lime zest.

The fish and curry are pretty tasty, though, so all in all? Victory! \o/

(I will post some photos after I finish eating.)
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.)

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

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)
succulent in a glass bowl, top view . succulent in a glass bowl, side view



My new succulent, in its glass bowl with its purple fake-rock base. I would kind of really like to take the plant OUT, or at least give it some actual soil, because this set-up worries me.

If anyone has any care tips for succulents (and/or a name for this particular species!), I am all ears, because my track record with keeping succulents happy is DIRE.

(I mean. Except for the jade plant. But jade plants are kind of unkillable, so I don't think that's a good measuring stick.)


[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I would like to attempt [livejournal.com profile] wipbigbang again this year, but I am not sure which story to tackle. The finished work must be at least 7,500 words long, and the WIP must be at least 500 words long at the time of entry. (These words can be publicly posted or can exist only in one's own document files.)

So here are five stories that fit those requirements, and which I think I have a plausible chance of finishing by the end of June:

1. Five Things That Never Happened to Rex and Ana Lewis (And One That Still Might)
--This is a GI Joe: Rise of Cobra fic (yes, I know) that does exactly what it says on the tin. I currently have the first three sections written to the tune of 9,000 words, and a couple hundred each for parts four and five. Part six is only an outline and might end up unwritten depending on my mood after rewatching the movie to refresh my memory of the characters and plot (insofar as they exist). Would probably be 15,000-18,000 words when complete.

2. Intervention
--A Star Trek: AOS fic centered entirely on original characters with a brief cameo from the Enterprise near the end. The crew of a Red Cross ship investigate a mysterious plague on a small and deliberately isolationist human colony, where they run into a bunch of cultural issues (the colonists are a religious splinter group with negative opinions about technology) but begin to make progress... and then an Orion slaver/pirate fleet arrives in the system. Oops. I have about 14,000 words written and am stalled in the middle of the space battle section. Would probably be 18,000-20,000 words when complete.

3. Ephemera
--This is an Angel Sanctuary fic following Belial's pre-canon journey from heaven to hell. It's kind of messed up (because Belial is kind of messed up) and has a lot of vaguely meta stuff about gender, gender roles, morality as related to sex and violence, and free will. Also hopefully some gory fight scenes in the as-yet-unwritten parts. :) I have one 6,000 word chapter written and posted on ff.net, a second chapter partially written, and a third tentatively outlined. (I will probably have to revise the posted chapter at some point.) Would probably be ~20,000 words when complete.

4. Debts
--This is an Angel Sanctuary fic following Alexiel's various incarnations between her capture and Setsuna's birth. (Spoiler: they all end badly.) I have one 3,000 word chapter posted on ff.net, but stalled out on the next ones because I didn't want to face the necessary historical research. I have a fairly solid outline which calls for five additional chapters, for an eventual total of 18,000-20,000 words.

5. Strange Likenesses
--This is a Harry Potter fic in which the newly disembodied Voldemort notices his link to Harry and (after some ghostly travails) attempts to possess him. It doesn't work out as planned, but this scenario does not end well for anyone involved. I have 15,000 words currently written and posted on ff.net, but stalled out because I wasn't sure how I wanted the story to end. I'm still not entirely sure, but I think a metaphorical kick in the pants would be more useful for concentrating my mind than years of dithering have been. *wry* Any estimated final wordcount is highly suspect, but given the plot threads I need to wind up, I'd guess 25,000-35,000.

With those descriptions in mind, here is a poll:


Poll #18110 WIP Big Bang options
This poll is closed.
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 7


Which story should Liz use the 2017 WIP Big Bang challenge to finish?

View Answers

Five Things That Never Happened to Rex and Ana Lewis (GI Joe: Rise of Cobra)
1 (14.3%)

Intervention (Star Trek: AOS)
2 (28.6%)

Ephemera (Angel Sanctuary)
0 (0.0%)

Debts (Angel Sanctuary)
0 (0.0%)

Strange Likenesses (Harry Potter)
4 (57.1%)




If you can't get the poll to work for you, please vote by leaving a comment! You do not need an account to comment. :)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I am debating going to a NYS Baroque concert at my church on Saturday evening. It's relatively obscure stuff, to wit:

The Sweetest Sounds

Ravishingly beautiful cantatas, arias, and instrumental music: Bach’s cantata BWV 82a "Ich habe genug;" a new flute concerto by Vivaldi, Thomas Arne’s The Morning, a Handel concerto grosso, and more.

Laura Heimes, soprano; Steven Zohn, flute; Marika Holmqvist, Boel Gidholm, violins; Dan Elyar, viola; David Morris, cello; Heather Miller Lardin, bass; Deborah Fox, theorbo; Michael Beattie, harpsichord


Tickets are $25. If I ordered one online today or tomorrow, it would be held for me at the door. And I'd have an hour and a half between the end of work and the start of the concert to grab some kind of dinner...

Should I?

*dithers*

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ETA, 3/24/17: I bought them. This is a little silly from an "I need more sleep" perspective, and also from an "I need to save money" perspective... but there's more to life than just surviving, you know? And I could use a little beauty right now. *wry*
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:

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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)
Aunt Jan sent me and Vicky an email last month, the text of which is as follows:

Attention Writers: Loon News postcard just came. The John Mosedale creative writing prize of $50 is still on. It will be give to "the best short fiction, non-fiction, poetry or memoir" - 750 words maximum. Due March 20 if you happen to get inspired.

Also the Loon Theme is "Whimsical or realistic, painted, colored, drawn, photo or digital, anything goes because you've captured what is special about TREES. No larger than 8 1/2 x 11.


(The Loon is the combined annual newsletter and directory for the Star Island Protective League: it contains reports from the League meeting, reports from the Forest Service, photos and yearly updates from each cabin/family, creative works, obituaries, a phone directory, emergency information, an island map, and so on.)

I could maybe flip through my photo archives to see if I have any particularly good tree photos, but there is no money associated with the images.

The Mosedale writing prize, on the other hand...

I won that in 2010 for my poem Inland, Walking South. I have not been able to enter in a bunch of the intervening years (there is often an age restriction on the contest), and did not win the one time I did enter, but I think it would be fun to try again. :)

Jan says the theme only applies to visual submissions, but I figure to be on the safe side anything I submit should also be tree-related. Now I just need to figure out something to write...

Hmm.

Suggestions, anyone?
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.


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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.

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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!

-----

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, so, outlining! I'm going to think out loud at the internet for a bit, and if you have any constructive feedback, I am all ears. :)

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the prompt )

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My opening paragraphs are as follows:

I'm not going to tell you the story of how I met Icky, because it's long and embarrassing and mostly irrelevant. What I AM going to tell you is how we helped the Golden Rider fight the evil cleaning lady of the Montana badlands and unkidnap my little sister.

(This is also an embarrassing story. But not quite as much.)


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brainstorming and outline )

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I am notoriously terrible at estimating story lengths, but I think this should wind up somewhere between 15,000 and 30,000 words. Which is a bit long but totally doable, and also this story is already two years late (and may well be three years late by the time I actually get it written) so I figure I owe Vicky something relatively substantial. *wry*

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random points )
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
[community profile] snowflake_challenge Day 3: Set some goals for the coming year. They can be fannish or not, public or private.

I have various and sundry goals for the year, but I think the biggest ones are... hmm...

Okay.

1. Starting in April, get really serious about finding and applying to full-time jobs, because my current one (though it's nice and has a reasonable hourly wage) is only part-time and therefore has no benefits. I'm keeping it for now because it meshes well with my seasonal tax-prep job, but I want something more stable going forward.

2. Finish at least three chapters of "The Guardian in Spite of Herself," because I failed miserably on that front last year (ugh, depression) and now that I'm feeling less pervasively gray, I would like to get back to more regular writing.

3. Relatedly, write something every day. This can be as little as a single sentence, but I find that I do best in life when I arrange my days (or weeks) to have reliable structures and patterns. Last year I was pretty successful at finally training myself into making daily flossing a reliable habit, so I'd like to try that with writing this year. :)

4. Also relatedly, keep up my daily to-do lists! I have used to-do lists off and on over the years, mostly when I am having particularly bad problems with depression (I always list a few gimmes, like meals, to make sure I have things I can cross off and point to as 'see, I am NOT doing nothing!' evidence), which is why I started up the habit again in 2016, but I've been trying to regularize it a little more, and plan some items a few days in advance, and it's been very helpful in creating a sense of stability when my greater life has felt too big and terrible to ever be within my control. I'd like to keep that up in good times so the habit will be in place whenever bad times roll back again. *wry*

(They always do. These past couple years were only the second time I've had long-term depression; it's been almost entirely situational, which was also the case with my first extended depressive period, so I was pretty sure it would clear up when my life got less chronically stressful. (Spoiler: I was right.) But even when I'm doing well, I still get my blue funks -- I have periodic clinical depression, which means that a few times a year, my brain chemistry randomly conks out for a few weeks -- and I like to have a well-honed set of tools for getting through them.)

5. Continue my decluttering project. I have a bunch more boxes and cupboards that need to be sorted through, and there are still a bunch more clothes I should try on and decide whether I'm ever going to wear them again. I think I'd also like to get a new computer chair, and maybe some kind of shelving unit I can use to store my spare gardening stuff instead of having it randomly stacked on my kitchen floor.

6. Figure out a way to get more physical activity into my life. It needs to be sneaky and low-key, and it needs to be easily slipped into a daily routine rather than a special-purpose event solely about exercise or flexibility. I already walk 1-3 miles a day -- this is easy, because I don't usually have a car and I have an established routine of going to take a photograph of Cascadilla Creek from the Tioga St. bridge every day that this is physically and temporally possible -- but I want to add something a little higher intensity, and maybe also something to improve flexibility since I've been getting a bit stiffer as I get older and that annoys me.

Any advice on the exercise front would be very welcome, btw! :)

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Elizabeth Culmer

June 2017

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