edenfalling: golden flaming chalice in a double circle (gold chalice)
From the department of random things:

1. I have tentatively chosen a story to remix, after taking a week to slowly poke through my remixee's archive. Tonight I did a little brushing up on my familiarity with the canon in question, partly just on general principle and partly because I wanted to double check the way a few specific characters behave, individually and together. I'll probably start writing tomorrow.

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2. I talked about various church-related things a few posts back. They have been resolved as follows: A) the brunch has been rescheduled for Sunday May 18th, and I have an offer for a ride there and back; B) it's okay for me to arrive 15 minutes late to the adult RE sessions; and C) I have made an official pledge via an online form, so I need to write a check and bring it to church this Sunday or else I will forget and never pay up.

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3. I had not finished reading the Jadefest archive when authors were revealed, but I have continued to work my way through the remaining fics. This has taken a while, both because I've been reading other stuff as well, and because I was reading them in reverse word count order, so I left the longest ones for last. As of tonight, I have one story left -- Hold the Line -- which I have been highly anticipating because it's by an author I like a lot ([archiveofourown.org profile] dashery), and the summary sounds freaking awesome, to wit:

1994: The Betty Crocker conglomerate invites Dr. Jade English, celebrated astrophysicist and CEO of Skaianet Technologies, to teach one year of classes at their first foray into private education, Marjorie Husted University in Houston, Texas.

Jade says yes.

Contains violence against robots, too many background characters, Rose Lalonde on a Big Dog motorcycle, and the unspoken promise between a war-maker and those who would soldier on.


And it contains Jade English/Dave Strider, which is not a relationship I have seen before. There's a fair amount of alpha universe Dave/John (which I avoid because John/Dave is not my ship to start with, and its alpha universe iterations tend to degenerate into interminable angsty pining and completely ignore the boys' ties -- friendly, familial, romantic, whatever -- to both Rose and Jade), a lot of Dave/Rose (which I like even when it fails to mention Jade or John, because I like Dave and Rose being hopelessly codependent, okay? it's a weakness of mine), and even the occasional Jade/Rose (which, full disclosure, I have written myself, though not in an angsty pining way). But alpha universe Jade/Dave is the next best thing to nonexistent, which is sad. Old ladies deserve love too, and if Dave wants to be Jade's boy toy, I say more power to him.

Anyway, I am going off to read that now. :-)

ETA: It was even more awesome than I hoped it would be. A++, have already read again. :-D
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Today is Jadefest reveal day! I wrote three stories, all for [archiveofourown.org profile] ratherrumpus, all in response to the same prompt. I am going to talk about them all in one post, since they are all heavily interconnected.

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First, here is the prompt from which I was working: After their session is complete, the game's resident robot experts, Jade Harley and Dirk Strider, team up to rebuild Skaia Labs. Is this merely a shallow excuse for them to build giant robots together, pilot said robots, and annoy all their team members who dislike wanton giant-robot destruction? Perhaps. Is it going to be awesome regardless? Absolutely.

Ratherrumpus made two other prompts. The first was about Jade as a boxer, possibly with Vriska as a rival, and, well, let's just say that on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being watching linoleum peel and 10 being Homestuck itself, boxing is a very firm 0.5 on my scale of "Things I Find Interesting." Even if it might involve humans and aliens living together. So I didn't even try to work with that one. (I am quite happy that other people enjoy boxing. To each their own! But it is so far from being my thing that boxing and I ought to live in separate galaxies.)

The second prompt I didn't use was about Jade going grimdark instead of Rose, which I kept as a backup idea in case I couldn't get the giant robots to work. I can do grimdark, I can do desperation and angst, and I figured it wouldn't be too difficult to find a split point where it made sense for Jade to bargain with the horrorterrors... but when given a choice between horrorterrors and giant robots, I'm sorry, but I had to try the giant robots first. :-)

It turns out writing giant robots is harder than it looks.

Or at least it is for me. Which is probably because I have a curse known as world-building, which meant I couldn't just say, "Okay, giant robot time!" I had to figure out why Jade and Dirk would be building giant robots, and apparently "Because they're awesome!" doesn't cut any ice with whatever part of my brain deals with plots and character motivations. :-/ I spent nearly a week spinning various ideas that died horribly within the first two sentences, assuming they even made it that far.

The first attempt that clicked enough to be worth trying to write was the third fic I posted.

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Linnaeus Never Had a Robot )

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If Kaiju, Therefore Mecha )

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Giant Robot Mayhem Doesn't Happen in a Day )

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I was unsuccessful in my quest to install Microsoft Office until just a couple days ago, so I wrote all these fics in Google Drive... which was a challenge since my internet connection had been breaking sporadically over the past two weeks. (It was definitely a router issue, which means it was either my upstairs neighbors' problem or the cable company's problem, neither of which I could do much about.) But I got the story done and posted, and people have enjoyed it, which is all one can really ask for.

(I think from some perspectives I may have 'won' Jadefest? At least in terms of hits and kudos and bookmarks? That is a very strange experience for me. Also, seriously, there are a LOT of awesome words and art in the collection. They deserve love too!)

I was surprised that I was the only person to write and post anything in the Jadefest Treats collection! This was frustrating, since I couldn't point people toward that collection without raising the question of, "Oh, and why haven't you left kudos or comments on these stories you want me to read, eh? Eh???" I am pretty sure a couple other people were making noises about trying to fill more than one of their giftee's prompts, but the full prompt list didn't get publicized until Friday so I suppose that restricted opportunities for extra creative efforts. Ah well. So it goes.

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Lastly, ratherrumpus drew an illustration for "Linnaeus Never Had a Robot," which you should go see and praise: they were cool even before the robots.

I could not effectively advertise this before, since I was the only other person with works in the Treats archive, but now I can, and I assure you it is awesome. :-D
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Jadefest authors will be revealed tonight, at about 3am Eastern Daylight Time. I am very much looking forward to discovering who wrote carry it with you for me! (And to being able to talk about my own work. *gnaws fingers, twitches in anticipation*)

In the meantime, I am trying to get through as much of the archive as possible. I think I have commented on two-thirds of the works by now. I've been going in reverse order of word count, so I've gotten through all the art-only stuff and am now moving through stories of ever-increasing length, discounting a few I read out of order because they were recced (rec'd? stupid spelling ambiguities *mutter grumble hmph*) on my Tumblr dashboard.

Also, all the Jadefest prompts are now available on a sortable page, if you are interested in writing something for the Jadefest Treats archive (which is also still anonymous, but will remain open indefinitely). You should take a look. There are some really neat ideas waiting for someone to play with. :-)

Okay. Back to reading!
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. It's been a slow couple of days. Work is simultaneously boring beyond belief -- business is very slow, partly because of the continuing Commons construction project, partly because we have been trimming back our stock, partly because people just don't buy as many magazines and newspapers as they did eight years ago when I started working at the smoke shop -- and stupidly, ridiculously stressful -- we still don't know any concrete details about the renovation project except the footprint of the space we will lose to the elevator and stairwell, which includes not knowing where (or even if) we will get a new bathroom, when the work will begin, whether Mr. Speakerphone and Real Estate Company have agreed on the terms of a new lease, or really, anything at all.

I would even prefer hearing that we're going to shut down and I'll lose my job. I just want to KNOW, goddammit. The uncertainty is driving us all nuts.

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2. In related news, I really need to schedule an annual physical checkup before I hypothetically lose my health insurance. I should do that tonight, actually. My clinic takes email appointment requests, and ye gods and little fishes, I hate making appointments over the telephone.

*time lapse*

Okay, I just sent in an appointment request. We shall see what comes of that attempt.

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3. In unrelated news, I really, really want to talk about what I wrote for Jadefest, but due to certain factors, I pretty much can't say anything without blowing my anonymity. (I will explain this weekend. At great length, most likely.) But I can safely say that my recipient liked my work, which is always a relief. So yay for that!

You know, I think I may go write up a reveal day post, because why not. :-)
edenfalling: colored line-art drawing of a three-scoop ice cream sundae (ice cream sundae)
It's a couple hours early, but the archive is open! I cannot, obviously, direct you to the story I wrote, but let me point you toward the gift I received, because it is GLORIOUS.

carry it with you: [ETA: by [archiveofourown.org profile] HorribleThing] This feels like this is the type of space where if she puts her hand on the door and starts to push, something will stop her and ask if she needs to save her game. There's a danger to it, and a finality. But Sburb doesn't offer those types of safeties. Sburb isn't that kind. [Jade meets her Denizen.] (2,000 words)

The narrative is pitch-perfect Jade, toward the end of the frog quest, with all the things she so carefully isn't thinking about and all the things she so fiercely promises to do, and why she makes those promises even though she has no way to know if they are even possible to fulfill.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I've been having sporadic problems with my internet connection over the last couple days -- I am pretty sure it's related to my neighbors' router having trouble talking to the internet, not my computer having trouble talking to their router, and there was thus nothing I could really do about it -- but despite that obstacle I have successfully posted the extended and edited version of my Jadefest fic to the Jadefest 2014 AO3 collection, which will open tonight! At 3am, Eastern Daylight Time. *headdesk*

I really shouldn't stay up to admire my gift, be it fic or art. I have to be at work at 11am on Saturday. I am trying to get more sleep.

And yet.

...

Maybe I should take a post-dinner nap to compensate?
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I added two more scenes/sections to my Jadefest fic last night, for a total of maybe 1,000 more words and 100% more Jade. Except now the story feels unbalanced and I think I need to add even more scenes to sort of even things out. (Jade-including scenes, for the most part, but possibly one or two tiny ones without her. Though still talking about her! But... oh, you know what I mean.)

The thing is, the original fic was fine and balanced as it stood. It had a complete internal plot arc. Well, I say plot arc. That may be overstating things. But still, it opened with a premise, elaborated on the premise, reached a conclusion, and had a humorous kicker. The additional sections have introduced some other plot-like ideas that need their own elaboration and conclusions. I kind of managed to give one of them some wrap-up, but the others are just dangling loose at the moment, which as I said above is unbalanced. And also untidy. This irritates me.

There are many areas of life where I am totally okay with mess, but there are some where I have a driving need to create order, dammit, and story structure is often one of those.

So I guess it's back to work. Again. *sigh*

(It's not as if I actually mind writing. It's just annoying that I keep screwing this story up and scrambling to sort of spackle over the flaws. Hnrgh.)
edenfalling: golden flaming chalice in a double circle (gold chalice)
Things I have done recently:

1. Finished and posted my Jadefest fic. It's kind of, um, not really a Jade fic? Even though it is unquestionably a response to the prompt I was working from! I want to see if I can add some kind of opening scene to focus it more on her, because as it stands it's an ensemble fic and that was not the point of the exchange. (I have also posted one of my false starts as a treat, because it may have fallen wildly short of the minimum word count but it's still a complete ficlet and, while a slightly less direct response to the prompt, much more focused on Jade.)

2. Signed up for RemixRedux 11! This year I qualified in Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, Inception, Naruto, and Star Trek: AOS. (I also qualify in Angel Sanctuary, Homestuck, and The Dark Is Rising, but those are not qualifying fandoms for matching purposes, so they're just listed as optional side things. Ah well, such is life.)

3. Made pot roast! Variations from my first attempt include fewer carrots (because Susan ate some while she was here and I forgot to buy more), more beef (1.1lb rather than .95lb), plain cream of mushroom soup rather than cream of mushroom with garlic, and half a soup can less of water. So it tastes a little different, doesn't have quite as many veggies, and is less soupy.

Next time, I will go back to the mushroom soup with garlic, and use more carrots (I dislike carrots cooked on their own, but carrots in soup or stew-type things are lovely), while continuing the more-beef-less-water aspects.

4. Taught RE. This week's lesson was on non-violence, and after the story and question/activity thingy, we made -- I swear I am not making this up -- What Would UU Do? bracelets. Which are basically What Would Jesus Do? bracelets by another name. It is so tacky. (Also a terrible pun on our denominational nickname and U as in "you.") But kids like playing with beads, so a fun time was had by all.

5. Agreed to cover Serenity's shift this coming Saturday, like I did this past Saturday, since her father-in-law died this morning and she needs to be in Rochester that weekend for... funeral arrangements and/or packing up his house? I dunno, I'm getting this secondhand via Boss Lady, so it's a bit garbled and incomplete. Either way, I feel terrible for her. :-(
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I was awakened at 10:10 this morning by a call from Boss Lady. Apparently Serenity's father-in-law is very ill and she needs to go to Rochester to see him and/or support her family. So she can't close the smoke shop today.

I told Boss Lady that I have to do my grocery shopping today, and there was no way I could catch the 10:15 bus (obviously!), but I'd take the 11:15 bus, take the 12:30 bus home, and head into town as soon as I put away my purchases, so I should be at work between 1:15 and 1:30, depending.

Dammit, I was going to work on my Jadefest fic all day today, in and around groceries and laundry. I wrote 800 words last night. They are the wrong words and I will have to trash them all, but writing down a wrong path has at last showed me where the right path is, so I was all excited to get started on that. I guess I'll just have to write even faster. Well, it's not like I don't have practice...

Also, I am so glad I went to bed at 11:30pm last night. SO GLAD. I often stay up somewhat later than usual on nights before a day off, on the assumption that I can sleep in very late, but I think getting adequate sleep the two previous nights reminded my body that hey, sleep is a thing that can happen, and suddenly it wanted more, right there, right now. So I went to bed.

Sometimes these things work out, I guess.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
FYI, I am not dead or kidnapped or anything. I've just not been posting because I am very tired. Susan's visit went well and I will write it up Thursday or Friday, depending on how much sleep I get tonight. I also need to edit a thing for my Aunt Jan tomorrow (which I'm not doing tonight because see above in re: very tired) and finish my Jadefest fic by Sunday... and by finish, I really mean start, since all I've done so far is some shapeless brainstorming that produced a couple potential idea hooks (not enough for a whole story, but maybe a sub-theme, or at least a paragraph or two) and some general conversation topics into which I may or may not attempt to fit actual dialogue, depending on whether the fic goes in a direction that could comfortably hold those conversations.

Now I'm going to read a few things and go to bed, because as previously stated, I am very tired.

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edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Elizabeth Culmer

October 2017

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