edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Yuletide reveal day!

I only wrote one story this year -- so much for grand intentions! But that single story is about eight and a half thousand words long, and I was sunk in a slough of depression for a good chunk of what should have been my prime writing time, so I count it a successful year nonetheless. :-)

Dreams From My Mother: Wilhelmina Benedict never knew her mother. That didn't stop Adria from shaping her daughter's life. (8,700 words) Written for [archiveofourown.org profile] Morbane.

Anne Bishop's Black Jewels series is one of my beloved guilty pleasures of the past decade. It has its fair share of issues, plot holes, and utter ridiculousness, but it hits a lot of my buttons Just Right, and so I forgive the world and the characters pretty much anything. *hands* What can you do?

Anyway, Morbane provided the following prompt: I would really like worldbuilding. The books focus on very high-powered characters, and I'd be delighted if you would instead explore life for Landens or lighter-jewelled Blood. The books cover a lot of mythical realms, a lot of major political shifts, and dramatic events - ways of life and changes to ways of life that affect everyone. Tell me some of these stories. Original characters very welcome! But if you have favourites among the nominated characters, take your favourite and write me an interaction with an obscure corner of canon.

I requested "any", and I realise you may have signed up to specifically write about Lucivar, or Surreal, or Wilhelmina, and OCs may not be your cup of tea. So I have optional thoughts on each of the nominated characters in my letter on livejournal.

With that in mind, I initially thought about hauling out and reworking a massively self-indulgent story set in Hayll after the end of Queen of the Darkness, which would need a LOT of fixing to make it compliant with the incidental world-building in The Shadow Queen and Shalador's Lady, but that's a novella-length story at the very least so I set that aside and started hunting for very minor canon characters and/or places where I thought an OC-centric story might illuminate something interesting about the world of the series. And for a while I was going to write about Lady Broghann (whose name you will not recognize because she was on-page for all of, I think, two pages, in "Zuulaman," which is a prequel story about Saetan's past contained in Dreams Made Flesh -- she is Mephis and Peyton's governess), but somehow I ended up thinking about Wilhelmina's mother instead.

Adria-of-no-canon-surname is mentioned in passing on one page of Daughter of the Blood, cut for canon blather and potential triggers )

Long story short, I decided to write about Adria from Wilhelmina's point of view, via stories people told Wilhelmina about her mother over the years. Initially this was going to extend all the way through "Kaeleer's Heart" (a story in Dreams Made Flesh, set about a year after Queen of the Darkness) and end in Scelt with Jaenelle finally telling Wilhelmina about having met Adria in Hell, and maybe an exchange of a letter Adria had written for her daughter before she returned to the Darkness, but as I wrote the timeframe of the story compressed itself a LOT and I wound up ending on what, in my original outline, was the fifth of nine planned scenes. The story also ended up being much more about Wilhelmina and her family in general than about Wilhelmina and her mother specifically, but I like to think that Adria is still a notable presence (or absence) throughout the fic.
edenfalling: colored line-art drawing of a three-scoop ice cream sundae (ice cream sundae)
So I got TWO presents this year! An embarrassment of riches!


First someone [archiveofourown.org profile] Firerose wrote me a story about Laia Asieo Odo, from "The Day Before the Revolution," which is a short story by Ursula Le Guin that acts as a kinda-sorta prequel to The Dispossessed. Both stories are set in the Ekumen (aka the Hainish Cycle), and deal with the twin planets of Urras and Anarres, and a thought experiment about how utopian, communitarian anarchism might possibly be made practical.

A Necklace of Acorns: (collection link) Only cast pearls before swine if a necklace of acorns becomes you (Sayings of Odo). Glimpses into the life of a revolutionary.

This is an awesome and wonderful exercise in world-building, character, and some of the politics and cultural baggage implicit in the setting of the novel and the short story, and you should go read it immediately and heap praises upon the author!


Second, someone [archiveofourown.org profile] fresne wrote me a story set in the world of Meredith Ann Pierce's The Darkangel trilogy, which is about vampires on the moon. (Only a thousand times better than that summary makes it sound, I swear to god -- it's about fairy tales and myths and quests and female empowerment and friendship and all kinds of amazing stuff like that. Plus did I mention it takes place on the moon? Because yeah.)

Sons for Every Daymonth: (collection link) Her first son was fair of face,/ Her second son was full of grace,/ Her third son was full of why,/ Her fourth son had has far to go,/ Her fifth son might have been loving and giving,/ Her sixth son worked hard for a living,/ But her seventh son was bonny and blithe and good and gay. She had problems with that one.

These are the stories of the other six icari, who weren't as lucky as Irrylath and lost their souls forever. It is also the story of a world slowly falling apart as the White Witch's baleful influence spreads and the links between domains come apart. Go heap praises upon this author too!

ha, I win!

Dec. 25th, 2012 01:37 am
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
The (very!) long version of the Yuletide fic is finished, cursorily edited, and posted. Go me!

...The final scene is, I admit, more slapdash than I really like (and it ended up being the horrible, awful fifth scene that I thought had fallen out of the story -- turns out it made the only coherent ending, who knew?), but it has a certain emotional "aliveness," for lack of a better word, and it hangs together on a plot and character level, so I am calling it quits while I am ahead.

I am also going to bed now.

Mmmm, sleep. :-)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Dear Yuletide Writer,

Hi, and thank you in advance for writing a story for me! I'm pretty easy to please -- unless you write a context-free sex scene, I'll be thrilled just to get a fic in one of the fandoms I asked for. *grin* But I realize that's not terribly helpful, so here's the (very!) long version. (I am sorry for the tl;dr, but I like to talk about things I love and I figure more details are better than fewer.)


General Information )

Okay. On to specific fandoms.


The Lions of Al-Rassan )

Lucifer )

The Dispossessed )

Darkangel Trilogy )

And that is that.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
The long version of my Yuletide story is maybe... two scenes away from completion? The evil scene I was looking forward to seems to have fallen out the story entirely, as its timeframe has shrunk, but oh well, whatever. I also think I have a title, so that's good.

We are leaving for the Christmas Eve service in about ten minutes, after which we will get lost in Chatham looking at Xmas lights (as is traditional -- both the lights and the lost), and after that I have agreed to walk my parents' dog, so I am unsure if I will be able to finish before the archive closes. :-/

But even so, I will post it as a Madness treat or a New Year's Resolution story, so one way or another my recipient will get this fic!

And now I am off like a prom dress, as my coworker AO would say. :-)

(P.S. I seem to have TWO Yuletide presents of my own! This is a very exciting feeling!)
edenfalling: colored line-art drawing of a three-scoop ice cream sundae (ice cream sundae)
I accidentally set my alarm for 10:45am rather than 9:45am yesterday, and didn't notice until I was out of the shower and it was already 11 o'clock, which meant that in the best case scenario, I wouldn't be able to get to church until 11:25, at which point there would only be twenty minutes of Sunday school left... so I just gave up and didn't go. I feel like such a dumbass, but sometimes these things happen. And Vicky showed up at 11:30ish (having driven down from Rochester, where she'd attended a friend's wedding on Saturday), so the net result was that we left for NJ slightly earlier than we otherwise would have, after I put out the trash and recycling and whatnot. *shrug* We made decent time and had no traffic problems until nearly the end of the trip, at which point we bailed off I-80 onto NJ-10 to avoid complications from an accident near exit 34. (I like electronic message boards that warn of upcoming problems like that!)

Anyway, we are safely at our parents' house in Madison. Last night we had Chinese takeout, tonight we will have beef stew, and I think tomorrow is steak with bacon. Thus far my main contribution to family affairs has been to wrap Dad's presents for Mom, because he is madly busy trying to get the mass spectrometry encyclopedia finished -- any articles they don't have sent in for page-setting and copy-editing and so on within the next two weeks won't get into the book, the end. They have all the technical articles done, but they are still running behind on the biographies, alas.

Now I am going to go grab some leftovers for lunch and then get back to work on Yuletide. As I think I said, I chopped off the opening scene of my planned story, because it can stand alone and is over the minimum wordcount, but it works better with the rest of the story that follows, so I am plugging away trying to get the rest of the scenes finished. We shall see if I make the deadline.

...And then I have to write my Ladystuck story. *headdesk* Yeah, I fail time management forever. Which is not a surprise to anyone. *sigh*
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I have been having intermittent computer problems this past week -- the stupid, stupid, stupid "hey, let's freeze everything about two to five minutes after you wake the computer from sleep mode!" error that I thought had been fixed when the Geek Squad physically took a short-circuiting modem out last year (...and nobody could figure out why there was a modem there in the first place, let alone why it kept trying to turn on when there wasn't anything for it to connect to...) has come back.

Also apparently the blue screen crash when I restart the machine is accompanying its old pal, since that happened tonight as well.


So just in case, I chopped off the opening scene of my Yuletide fic, added some background details and a tidier ending, and posted it to fulfil my assignment.

I will continue working on the longer story, of course, but at least this way even if my computer dies the final death tomorrow, my recipient will get something for Yuletide.

(And it's a cute story, despite some darker stuff going on in the background, so I am okay with letting it stand alone in a way I wouldn't be with some of the other scenes.)


And now I am going to get back to writing.
edenfalling: circular blue mosaic depicting stylized waves (ocean mosaic)
My Yuletide assignment is currently at 1,350 words. Yay, I have passed the minimum wordcount. I am not remotely done, but whatever. Details, psssh.

(Also, the first scene is almost a thousand words on its own, so if push comes to shove, I can probably toss on a bit more sensory description and scene-setting and call it a story in its own right. Hopefully that will not happen, though.)

Writing this story has been a bizarre experience so far, because I have had the general idea planned for over a week now, but I still have no inspiration for actual writing. I even tried writing a prompt!fic last night, to see if the act of writing (even if something completely unrelated) could jolt me into feeling creative, but apparently not. So this progress is entirely mechanical, no real excitement or impetus whatsoever. (Not even deadline panic, which is extremely unexpected.)

I know the end result will not look any different from my other work and I do like what I've already created, but it's always a weird feeling to be spinning words out of hollowness instead of spinning them out of joy.

Maybe tomorrow deadline panic will set in and I will at least be feeling something. *sigh*


ETA: Three scenes done for a total of over 2,000 words now, for whatever that's worth. It does get a bit easier as one goes on. The act remains mechanical, but I started taking some pleasure in a piece of description here and there, and a bit of figurative analogy.


Is it weird that I am almost looking forward to writing the fifth scene, even though it's objectively the most horrible thing that happens in the whole story?
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Huh, haven't posted for a while. I just haven't felt very interesting, I guess. Also, I haven't written anything for several days, boo hiss. My sleep schedule got weird again, and I am in this mental place where I am trying to force myself to write my Yuletide story -- I have it outlined and everything! -- but my brain is refusing to turn outline into actual story and I can't seem to get at any of my other stories in the meantime either. It is extremely annoying.


2. I went to see Rise of the Guardians on Thursday, mostly just because (...okay, because I'd seen some posts on Tumblr and then read all the fic on AO3 and a bunch on ff.net too, which, argh, ff.net why are you such a pit of CRUD???), and it was... well, far from the deepest movie ever, and really could have used another female magical character (and apparently in the books it's loosely based on, the Tooth Fairy is Southeast Asian, which would have been nice if they'd kept it instead of making her white-ish, grrr), and I am of the opinion that the ending would have worked better if they'd, I dunno, talked about how fear is a necessary thing (like pain) because it teaches you stuff, instead of going for a Wheel of Morality voiceover that doesn't even make sense, but whatever, it was adorable. Also the animation quality was quite good.

I saw it in good old 2D, of course. This is because I wear glasses and I flat-out refuse to try putting 3D glasses over my glasses. I cannot even get plain old binoculars, microscopes, and telescopes to work right for me most of the time (because of my shocking inability to, you know, put my eye to the viewpiece, because surprise surprise, there is a pane of polycarbonate in the way!) and I am not going to pay through the nose for an "enhancement" that A) I don't need in the first place (imagination can convert 2D to 3D quite well on its own, thankyouverymuch) and B) almost certainly won't work for me anyway.


3. In light of this latest Homestuck update, I think it is now canon that in terms of personality match, Rose and Dave got sent to the wrong ectoparent... though I guess in terms of specific areas of interest, Roxy still matches up slightly better with Rose. (The wizard thing, you know.) Actually, as we get to know the alpha!kids better, it is really fun to see how Rose and Dave are sort of like a mix-and-match of character traits from both Roxy and Dirk (and vice versa, I guess), instead of any of them being exact recapitulations of their ecto-relatives. And that without even adding in environmental factors, because it is obvious that despite starting from the same inborn template, Roxy is not Mom, just as Dirk is not Bro... and now I really, really wish we'd gotten to see even a little bit more of Alpha!Dave and Alpha!Rose to be able to do a more informed compare and contrast of those iterations with their beta!session selves.


Wow, descriptions of Homestuck must sound like complete gibberish if you haven't read the comic.

(I think I am less fixated on finding similarities and differences between Jane, John, Jade, and Jake than between the various Striders and Lalondes because, since the Prospit dreamers were grandparent-and-grandchild opposite-sex pairs (rather than parent-and-child same-sex pairs), and also all the grandparents have been dead by the time we meet the active player characters, there has been less of a tendency in fandom to assume that the players were trying to emulate their guardians and/or actively rebelling against them. They have always been more their own people and less reflections of their guardians.)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Things I have done today:

1. Wash dishes at 4am (...my sleep schedule is still out of whack from my blue funk, shut up) and drop my favorite glass to shatter all over the kitchen floor. Then I had to sweep up the fragments by hand with damp paper towels, because I couldn't run the vacuum cleaner at that hour and wake my upstairs neighbors and their baby! *headdesk*

2. Buy a new pair of slippers, because the sides of my old pair were giving out. (Also the lining was worn away to pretty much nothing, but since I only wear them over socks, that was not exactly a pressing issue.) Mmmmm, nice, comfy, warm slippers that were on sale for under twenty dollars... *curls toes happily*

3. Start reading Kuroko no Basuke so as to better understand [personal profile] branchandroot's fic. I am not sure this was a good life decision.

4. Attempt to get back to writing "Trollstuck." Crash headfirst into the minor world-building problem of how in the seven hells Vriska's vision eightfold actually works. I mean, seven pupils in one eye are only going to focus extra light on the same retina, right? So how does that equate to ~magic eyesight~ or whatever? Why do they glow red when she's staring really hard at something? I assume her psychic powers must be involved somehow, but god damn it, I didn't expect I'd need to come up with a good technobabble handwave for this! I just want to get through a bit of exposition and take votes on which character should talk to her online! Gnrgh.

5. Decide on an idea for my Yuletide fic. My recipient wants minor character and/or OCs? Great! The character I plan to write about appears for less than a single page in the entire saga. ...And now I need to invent her nearly out of whole cloth. Oh well, it's not as if I don't have experience there. At least she has a few lines of actual canon dialogue, which is way more than I had to work with when creating Ilgamuth Tarkaan.

6. Figure out why I kept occasionally feeling drafts and smelling cigarette smoke in my bedroom. It turns out that when I removed the screen and closed the window for the autumn, I didn't actually close the window, since the top pane had slid down two or three inches over the summer, and therefore when I turned the lock it went over the housing it's supposed to slide into, which, like a dumbass, I completely failed to notice. *headdesk* That is fixed now.


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Elizabeth Culmer

October 2017

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