edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Whatever, I am impatient, I posted the Femgen fic. Hopefully it and the Davesprite fic have jointly purged the inclination toward angst I seem to have been suffering these past few days.

Blueprints: This is how you build a castle. This is how you build a life. Ariadne, 1,150 words.

[Now crossposted here on AO3.]


In other news, I spent the afternoon doing some background research for an encyclopedia my dad and some other guy have been working on for the past several years. It is about mass spectrometry, both the technical details and the people involved in the field. So today I dug up a little bit of information about Richard F. K. Herzog, a little about Johannes Geiss, and not much of anything about Georges Slodzian, Harold W. Washburn, and Heinrich Hintenberger. (Or rather, not much at all biographical; it's fairly easy to get professional information on them, like Washburn's patent applications, and Slodzian's and Hintenberger's research. But where and when they were born, where and when they were educated, where and when they died... eh, who knows!)


Btw, if you know anything about these five men, please do feel free to tell me. :-)
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Hey, so, I just finished last year's Femgenficathon story tonight. (Yes, I know, it is nearly nine months late. I fail at deadlines forever; this is not a thing anyone is arguing about.)

It is roughly 1,150 words of Inception fic, basically angsty Ariadne backstory about her childhood and her interest in architecture and art as related to a dead father and a younger half-sister and stuff.

Is anyone willing to give it a quick beta check?
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I have my computer back. *dances* All my files are okay, and I now have an external hard drive on which to back them up periodically, so if anything goes completely kerflooey again, I should at least be able to work on my stories on other computers.

I am working on my horribly belated Femgen story. As I said, the one about Avalyn Friesen refused to coalesce into workable form -- I had some characters, some incidents, an idea of the timeframe I wanted to use... and no plot. It's hard to write when you don't have a beginning, a middle, or an end. *sigh*

Instead, I am writing about Ariadne as a freshman architecture student at Cornell University, going through the week leading up to Dragon Day, because there is no point living in a town whose resident university has an architecture school with quirky traditions if one doesn't take advantage of that when writing about an architect. *grin* I am up to 2,000 words, and I think the story should be about 5,000 in total. It feels a little weird to be writing a story that is basically contemporary realistic fiction, but there's no real way to bring dreamsharing in at this point in Ariadne's life, except maybe as rumors about promising architecture students occasionally dropping out and just disappearing, or maybe stories about a professor or three having been involved in military black ops back in the day -- things people laugh at and don't really believe, but which, given that this is Inception fic, might actually be true.

When I am done with that, I must finish the GI Joe fic before inspiration abandons me. I still need to do some research for part two (the one where Ana joins the army), after which I can move on to parts three and four, which are much less research-intensive. Part five is probably going to involve military research again, and as for part six... well, hard to say. I will find out when I get there, I suppose. And then it's back to my regularly scheduled procrastination. *sigh*
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The trouble with reading some of the prompts that are going up for the Narnia Big Bang is, of course, that now I want to run off and work on my Jadis-and-her-sister story that I never really managed to get off the ground for Femgen 2009. (I snipped part of it out and posted it as Parallel, if you want a sample of the flavor I was going for.) Or maybe write about Bism. Or what the Lady of the Green Kirtle did for all those years she had Rillian enchanted. (I mean, obviously they were out and about and doing something instead of spending all the time underground... speaking of which, did she bring the chair along with her on those trips, or did she have a substitute binding method for his hour of sanity? Inquiring minds want to know!)

But no. I will be firm and resist temptation.

Also, tonight I am going to write about Ariadne (from Inception) in longhand, because my proper Femgen story is not coalescing (yes, I know, I am so ridiculously late), but I have a little five-part idea about Ariadne that fits my prompt better anyway. It's just that my prompt fits Ariadne so well it might have been tailored to her, which made me want to write anything else just to be obstinate. But oh well, sometimes you go the obvious route.

And now back to work, since my lunch break is nearly over. *sigh*
edenfalling: circular blue mosaic depicting stylized waves (ocean mosaic)
1. If you worked as a secretary at "the local grain company" in Kansas in the late 1980s, would your company be likely to have a computer? If so, what kind and what would its capabilities be? If not, what office technology would you have instead?

I ask because I was only about six or seven year old at the time in question (and also, I grew up about 25 miles from Manhattan), and I am therefore very, very unclear on the intermediate steps in office technology between, say, typewriter-with-carbon-paper and PC-hooked-to-internet. Internal networks like I think IBM used to do are a complete mystery to me, and I don't know if a modestly sized grain company would either have been interested in or been able to afford such a system anyway.

(This is in reference to the Mysterious Skin fic I am trying to write for Femgenficathon. The character in question is Avalyn Friesen, and the setting is the rural vicinity of Hutchinson, which is about 40 miles northwest of Wichita.)


2. I have been thinking, once again, that I really should go back to college (by which I mean, take one or two online courses a semester for several years) and finish a degree in something, if only so that I have my trained monkey certification and can thus get a foot in the door at better jobs should I feel inclined to look for a new position. The thing is, I associate college with the worst years of my life -- the years in which my depression and all my related maladaptive thought patterns jumped out and beat me up repeatedly, once I was away from my accustomed support networks -- and I have a reflexive mental/emotional flinch reaction whenever the idea of returning to that comes up. Also, I hate, hate, hate the reminder of how many courses I screwed up or just failed utterly because I was unable to attend classes or complete the assigned work.

It would, I think, be less distressing if the inability had been because the classes were hard. No. This was because I was unable to do much of anything for several weeks every month or three, and then did not have the tools to climb out of the resulting hole, nor even the tools to convince myself that I was worthy of so much as attempting to climb out of the hole. And that is not a state of mind I want to touch with a ten foot pole... but I kind of have to at least brush against it in passing, if I want to get copies of my transcripts and talk to admissions people about how many courses I need to do to get a degree and swear to them that no really, I'm better now, I promise.

(...Okay, organic chemistry genuinely was hard -- I just cannot visualize complicated stereoisomers to save my life, and now you know why I decided to major in German literature instead of chemistry -- but everything else was easy. Which was quite possibly part of the problem. Easy things don't feel meaningful.)

Anyway, I talked about this with Vicky when I saw her in August, and she helped me write up a list that breaks down "go back to college" into a bunch of small, manageable steps. I need to print that out and pin it to the wall behind my computer to prod myself into taking action.


3. Gacked from [livejournal.com profile] annearchy: The first five people to comment on this post get to request that I write a drabble/ficlet of any pairing/character of their choosing. In return, they have to post this in their journal, regardless of their own writing ability level. (Slight variation: you must specifically ask for a ficlet in your comment or I will assume you don't want one and will move on to the next person. Also, what the heck, I will write ten of these -- five for LJ comments and five for DW comments, assuming anyone is interested at all.)

I make no promises whatsoever as to length -- you may get a single sentence if that's all I can think of -- but I do tend to run long...
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28 - Have you ever collaborated with anyone else, whether writing together, or having an artist work on a piece about your fic? )


29 - What is your current project or projects? )


30 - Do you have a favorite fic you've written? What makes it your favorite? And don't forget to give us a link! )


Things I have done today: defrosted the snus cooler at work. PM decided this needed to be done while we were temporarily out of stock, unplugged the machine, and left it for me and BW to keep an eye on through the evening. BW and I got the ice pried away from the front of the cooling element without much trouble, but the ice behind it was another story. Finally I decided to disregard PM's instruction not to poke at things, got a screwdriver, and just removed the plate and fished the partially rotted ice out in chunks. Then I dried the machine and put it all back together... and it worked just fine, thank you.

The funny part is that PM set up a really elaborate system of drip catchers in front of the cooler's open door. Unfortunately, she completely ignored the cooler's back, which is where most of the meltwater went, puddling all over the counter, trickling onto the carpet, and soaking several pamphlets and displays on its way. Ah well, such is life. *wry*
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1. Because I am possibly nuts, I signed up for the Narnia Fic Exchange this year. I mean, it's not like I don't have enough to write already... *headdesk*

But whatever. I like challenges, and exchanges are in some ways easier than writing for myself -- the restrictions are useful in telling me several thousand ways not to go, which saves time and flailing and bouts of "I have six million ideas; which one should I actually pay attention to?" syndrome.

I received my prompt today. While it's a bit vague in some respects, there are some interesting ideas and I think given a week or so I will come up with some characters and a plot. So yay for that. :-)


2. I signed up for Femgenficathon, as always. Hopefully this year I will not have a complete loss of motivation during the summer, which is why I didn't finish a fic last year. In hopes of avoiding that, I have already chosen a fandom and character (which are, respectively, obscure and even more obscure) and am in the process of doing some preliminary research and note-taking, so I have all my canon details in place to start elaborating on.

But these things have a way of falling through for one reason or another, so I think I won't mention any details until I have made a start on an actual rough draft.


3. I'm really sorry I haven't finished ch. 15 of "Guardian" yet. My sleep schedule got thrown all to hell this past week and a half -- partly because I can only use my computer at night during the summer, and partly because the more tired I get, the worse I get at time management and so I forget to make myself go to bed -- and I cannot write when I am sleep-deprived and also overheated.

Anyway, I have started Eiji's POV scene and the chapter is currently at 3,300 words. So, you know, I am working on it. Just very, very slowly. :-(
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
The [livejournal.com profile] femgenficathon deadline has been extended to August 15th. I am very grateful, as my fic is refusing to coalesce, and also my brain is refusing to think about anything other than heavy-duty world-building for Firsthome. As in:

1. I am trying to write an overview world history starting from the evolution of humanity and how they spread over the continents, including stuff like language groups, racial distribution, large population migrations and conquests, and so on and so forth. I need a history of science & technology, a history of military development, a history of trade and agriculture, a history of economics and economic theories, a history of religion -- all kinds of stuff like that.

2. I am also taking some bits and pieces of stuff I've said about the history of Estara over the years (...okay, so that stuff is mostly a children's song about four historical figures that's used as a basis for a kind of freeze-tag game; yes, I'm weird; this is not news) and fleshing them out by way of turning historical figures into actual people with actual lives, and consequently running into the slight problem of knowing really damn little about the sexual mores of Estaria and how they vary from region to region and era to era. So I'm trying to fix that.

3. I am trying to make Eloriel sin Ulan's creation of a new religion make a little more real-world sense, which is giving me the nagging feeling that I really need to go find good biographies of religious leaders (starting with Muhammad, who is the closest parallel I can think of offhand), and read up on Hinduism (and maybe Jainism and Sikhism) as well. And I need to brush up on the founding of Tenochtitlan, because that is relevant as well.

Anyway, this is all fascinating and fun (even when it makes me want to tear my hair out), but while laying background makes it easier to write future stories (and also improves the quality of said future stories), it doesn't produce a lot of obvious results here and now. Which is kind of frustrating.


I think I am going to try writing some 15-minute fics now. We shall see if I get anywhere.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I had forgotten, what with the heat and the burglary, that I have to write a story for [livejournal.com profile] femgenficathon by July 31. But I have been brainstorming and I have a marvelous and evil idea. It is also an epic idea, but fortunately it can easily be written in parts, and the first part (introducing the scenario) should be able to stand alone if I run out of time.

We shall see how this goes.

(Basically, I am once again playing around with Narnian world-building... only this time, I am going wildly and deliberately AU from a particular point in canon, partly just because I can and partly because, well, it's a perfectly reasonable departure point and since Lewis never explained a damn thing about what happened to my central POV character after her plot device status became irrelevant, this is my way of pointing out the flaws in the way he ended one of the books. *grin* Plus I get to flesh out a bunch of other female characters who are one-page plot devices at best. It is always fun to pick up Lewis's loose threads and do something interesting with them.)
edenfalling: colored line-art drawing of a three-scoop ice cream sundae (ice cream sundae)
[livejournal.com profile] femgenficathon 2010 signups are open!

The Femgenficathon rules are here.

The Femgenficathon signup post is here.

[livejournal.com profile] femgenficathon is one of my favorite fests/ficathons/fandom thingies, because it's for writing stories about women being awesome in all the myriad ways that don't revolve around love and sex. All the things men get to do as a matter of course, but which for women are so often subordinated to the old boy-meets-girl plot schematic. Adventures. Tragedies. Comedies. Mysteries. Thrillers. Contemplative character explorations. Whatever you want, as long as it's about a girl or woman.

The rules are slightly different this year (trans women are now allowed as well as cis women, along with a couple other changes), so you should probably read the rules post carefully. Signups close April 16th or when all prompts are claimed, whichever comes first. Posting starts July 15th and ends July 31st (since the ridiculously long posting window was probably causing a lot of people to forget they had stories due).

[livejournal.com profile] femgenficathon is a lot of fun. You should sign up!


In other news, I wrote a little more of "The Transient and the Eternal: Babies." It's now 3,500 words, and still not quite done. This is mostly because I was trying to figure out a good end point and realized that while I'd started with a thematic point in mind, I'd kind of lost it along the way in favor of random dialogue and stuff. So I went back and threaded the theme in more obviously, since the ending has to resolve both that issue and the opening issue about adoption and stuff... and in order to resolve a theme, that theme has to, you know, actually be there. *sheepish*

But anyway. It's shaping up.


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Elizabeth Culmer

October 2017

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