So yeah...

Mar. 18th, 2019 01:10 pm
auronlu: (Blah)
I don't often babble about RL on my gaming blog, but there's some overlap because I'm bad at self-discipline. I had lots of adulting: doing taxes, 4(!) different medical appointments, and a bunch of different ordinary adulting stuff I've already forgotten.

On top of which, we suddenly had the GREAT BUTTERFLY MIGRATION, and it was magical and unusual for about five days— possibly because we've had the last 5 years worth of rain this last winter— so I decided to risk my bad back and dig up scraggly old plants and plant more butterfly-attracting plants in the patio. Which I needn't have done, because the peach tree blossoms were doing a good job of serving as a drive-thru, and now the last of the scragglers have headed out of the area. People up in the Bay Area, keep an eye out for little Painted Lady orange-white-and-black butterflies. They should be reaching you about now, en route to Oregon.

I'll miss them, but they inspired me to go out to local parks to see them and to plant purple heliotropes, so thank you little ladies!

And finally, I am still active in my local Pokemon Go community, catching up on the year and a half I missed. I was trying to resist Rayquaza hunting on Friday and Saturday, picking up a rare legendary that last appeared during my hiatus. Needless to say, I failed my self-discipline roll and wound up rattling around town with a "train" of other PGo players driving from one gym to the next. Cue the usual griping about the Ones That Got Away, but I am now the proud owner of at least one powerful sky noodle.


I've not been satisfied with half the illustration headers I've made for the remaster of Love Her and Despair. Art lessons in painting fruits and cups have only somewhat improved my ability to draw landscapes and complicated scenes, although I have made progress. But when I fail to capture what I was imagining/describing— something which [personal profile] mintywolf seems to pull off for her Patreon rewards to an astonishing degree— I'm not sure if my amateurish drawings help or detract from my more-skilled prose. Then again, I've always liked Tolkien's amateurish watercolors and drawings, and I'm never going to get better if I don't keep practicing.
auronlu: (Blah)
Caught Con Crud from con last weekend but STILL managed to finish drawing for this week (finally)! My painting class has permanently infected my drawing style, but I see glimpses of the artist I want to become — Auron's glasses in that picture are the sort of impressionism I want to be able to do on purpose instead of by accident.

I keep wanting to go back and improve the illustrations for previous chapters (or the one I missed) and not having time. But goodness, the pictures don't really matter save as a way to draw the eye to posts, especially on Tumblr, since The Play's The Thing. And I'm excited to be getting to this act of the story, which in some ways is my favorite, although there are epic things to come.

Pokemon Go keeps throwing events at us, which is helping me catch up on all the things I missed. Latias raids through Monday. Is this critter useful? Am I going to go mad trying to hit it like Palkia and Kyogre? I dunno.

Also today was one of those weird 3-hour field-research-from-pokestops whose reward is one particular new critter. They did it with Feebas a month ago, and now they've done it with... Clamperl? Is that an l or an r? I guess in Japanese it doesn't matter. I caught a few shinies, and thankfully had just enough candy to evolve 2, and they each turned into a random different thing whose name I forgot but they look like earthworm and wingless dragonfly (yikes). The genetics of Pokemon is bizarre.

I can't believe I did that— walked THREE HOURS, although not quickly— with a cold. Seems like the same cold I caught coming back from Utah, mutating and reinfecting me. I am full of phlegm and sound like a frog, sigh. Feel very wilted now but just took hot shower and did mindless pokemon-transfer. I caught 204 total today and collected over 100,000 stardust (there was a 2x stardust bonus during the event for water critters, and I threw starpieces I'd been saving on top of that to boost it even more).

I is SO TIRED. SO VERY TIRED. Must get takeout and stay up a bit longer before collapsing.

But before I forget.

FFRK PLAYERS. LOG IN AND HIT THE FREE RELIC DRAWS. There's two 40x relic draws which are free and guarantee two 6-star relics per draw. Also there's now an option you can set somewhere (?) maybe during relic draw? I forget? to have it auto-sell 1-4* equipment, i.e. anything without a Soul Break or other special enhancement.
auronlu: (Fang)
Thing I mean to do:

(1) write more detailed comments/review of twigcollins' wonderful Final Fantasy XII fanfic series, moments in another time.

I posted a rec on Tumblr, but it's on Tumblr (boo). TL;DR: Start with A Kind of Integrity for Balthier/Fran awesomeness, then Life in a Box because it's also excellent and about the everyday/lowerclass people of Rabanastre, then a presumption that our eyes once watered, which is Vayne and Larsa sneaking into Old Town so Larsa can learn about social inequity and what it's like for the underprivileged and how (possibly) to make systemic changes, and if you aren't hooked by that time and wanting to read the entire series from start to finish I'll be surprised. Assuming you like FFXII, that is, and possibly even if it didn't quite come together for you.

(2) Redraw that Lucil/Elma portrait because I did it in a rush, and the anatomy and hands are a little weird, and now that I've thought about it some more I have a few tweaks I want to do to their costumes. (Also it irks me I wound up using a bit of very loose tracing to get elbows, knees, shoulders, hips in approximately the right spots... I SHOULD BE BEYOND DOING THAT. I'd photoshopped a Senshistock photo and a totally different photo of a woman leaning on a stick together to get the poses.)

But

(3) I'm going to a Who con in two weeks, and I usually do portraits and get them autographed, and I had better well GET ON WITH DRAWING THE ONES I WANT AUTOGRAPHED.

Oh

(4) I want to drag old LJ friends to read Love Her and Despair as I post the remaster, but on the other hand y'all busy, I know exactly how it is, and there's tons of fandom things and RL stuff I'm not getting around to myself. Still. SEV. RINA. OWLMOOSE. IRA. ET ALIA. I encourage you to read the thing while the chapters I've posted on DW are under 10K words and it's not too daunting.

(Sarasa, I don't have the urge to bug you because I'm guessing there's too many conventional fantasy tropes to suit your tastes, although who knows.)

ok enough procrastinating already

Sooo....

Jan. 7th, 2019 03:46 pm
auronlu: (Haz A Sword)
... I'm back from visiting family up north, laden with pokemon gleaned from the frozen wastes. I now have even more respect for those still playing this silly game in rural areas with no gyms and maybe one pokestop within a several mile radius.

Those were wonderful walks in the snow. I snapped some amusing photos of various mons jumping about in real wintry landscapes, as well as photos of real critters like chickadees and my parents' redoubtable cat in the snow, but I'm glad to be back in the warm.

Visiting parents gives me almost no time to do anything creative (or at least, by the time I have time, it's late and I am out of spoons for anything but mindless gaming).

For one of the chapters I posted while I was away, I treid to draw a Dramatic Auron Combat Pose. Apparently 3 years of drawing/painting still life has not adequately prepared me to draw dynamic action scenes... yet. His pose wasn't too bad, but I crashed and burned trying to draw the iron giant and forest behind him.

I am itching to try again, and also to redraw the ship in last Friday's illustration, which I could probably do better. But I should move ahead before redoing things already done.

Besides PGo, I've been pecking away at FFRK but no longer worry about using up all my stamina points. I'm bummed that I misread the deadline for a relic draw and amassed the 50 mythril needed for it just after the draw for Lulu's ultra weapon closed.

Looking on my reading page, I see several friends doing a "Snowflake" prompt of some sort that includes fic recs and other fandom-related stuff. I'm randomly seconding [personal profile] owlmoose desire for more Paine/Nooj, which is a ship she taught me to appreciate many years ago. Also, [personal profile] sarasa_cat has some good shortfic writing community recs.

On hellsite, Tumblr has finally given us a tool to see which posts it's flagged, and I'm amused to report that "I am happy Walter wants to arouse me" got flagged (but was unflagged on appeal).

Yooooo

Dec. 21st, 2018 09:34 am
auronlu: (Ceilingcat FFX)
Haven't had a chance to check DW since I arrived at my parents' house -- it's good to see them, but I only visit once or twice a year so when I am here there is a lot of hanging out -- so apologies for not yet responding to comments. i am excite that DW is buzzing with activity!

I'm posting the next chapter early today so i don't have to worry about it later, so please remember you're at work or busy that there's weekend reading available. :)

Edit: Woo hoo, it worked!

I dunno if DW has a "queue" function, so I posted the chapters in private mode on Tuesday, switched chapter 2 to "public" just now, and then clicked the "update date" button to reset its timestamp to now. Clunky, but it does the trick!
auronlu: (Furaga)
O'm setting up my blog so that the next two chapters of Love Her and Despair will post on Fridays while I'm away. (I hope.) I need to make a new illustration for Chapter 3. I should have time once I get there, and Dreamwidth's image uploader is a lot more versatile than it used to be.

I have some wonderful new follows from [community profile] the_great_tumblr_purge! Welcome, everybody!

In Pokemon Go news, there was a new raid boss today I had forgotten was imminent. Luckily, I finished packing and uploading artwork for a calendar I'm giving as a present* around 6, went out to get some nosh, and noticed weird bosses had sprouted on all the gyms around me. I checked in on Discord, found out where local players were congregating, and did 3 quick raids. I am spoiled to be living in geek suburbia. Tomorrow I go out into the wilderness, where there is Not A Whole Hell of a Lot.

Final Fantasy Record Keeper is doing its usual holiday fest. Holiday-themed Hymn of the Fayth works surprisingly well, but is a bit mindboggling..

*There was a Lulu portrait and a Porg on it, plus the ink drawing of Auron on the dock from the last chapter of LHAD. I need to draw more regularly.

Okay, enough chatter, or I ain't gonna get these chapters up. Cheers!
auronlu: (Default)
Getting sick and then starting a new fibromyalgia medication with NASTY SIDE EFFECTS during the adjustment period ate my November, and now the festive season is upon us, when I visit my relatives for two weeks and have to find Multiple Presents for them. Good news is of the side effects have gone now except for excessive sleepiness which makes writing challenging.

Also, hilariously, it's induced a ton of Pokemon Go because I can fight off the urge to nap by walking. Except then my hands hurt if I catch too many mons. Last week I cracked 50km for the first time, which is huge, since I was barely walking last March.

Back in Final Fantasy land:

I'm mourning that the Tumblr snafu has thrown Mintywolf's wonderful Lulu & Yuna magnum opus (graphic novel) out of order, flagging perfectly innocent pages and then tossing them to the front of her blog when they passed appeal. It's still in the correct order on the DeviantArt mirror.

The great edit of my FFX novella, Love Her and Despair, finished before I got sick. I have made headway on following chapters, but it's still not done. This worries me but not unduly. It's the main creative project i have on deck now, other than various bits of art. I've been able to do a lot of it on iPad, which is great because it means I can take it with me. Also I've bought myself a bluetooth keyboard to help.

I'm still playing FFRK, but not as consistently. I'm not enamored of their OC inserts into FF storylines, although the retro graphics versions of FFX, FFVIII and XIII are *adorb*. Also, it's fun replaying III, which has always charmed me for its innocence. I'm slowly banging on 3* magicites, having yet to break through 4*. I tend to focus on augmenting characters' sphere grids, mastering new soul breaks and upgrading/combining the best weapons.

Apparently giving characters new abilities and making them stronger is one of my favorite bits of RPGing? I notice I do the same thing in PGo; I'm always working on improving my favorite critters after painstakingly identifying those with the best base stats (not necessarily the ones experts say are the best fighters).

The Tumblr upheaval is annoying, especially because I can't seem to wean myself off the site. There's too much Who community and other communities still remain there. But we've seen it all before. This Vox article is worth a skim.

I've expected this ever since Yahoo bought it, but I kept hoping the incompetent programming would continue to go hand in hand with benign neglect.

Ugh...

Aug. 27th, 2013 01:25 am
auronlu: (Default)
Tumblr format drives me mad, and yet I find myself participating in discussions there instead of fomenting them here, because that's where fandom is. I do love the images, but I wish meta and fanfic would stay here.

It's a viscous cycle, pun intended.

I can't believe I posted a ficbit there this weekend. Granted, it was not very GOOD, and will never be finished since I abandoned it years ago after it trailed away into mush and poorly-justified erotica. (Giftfic ships should never be forced. Luckily, it was going to be a surprise giftfic, so no one but me is disappointed. Well, almost no one. *apologetic smile at MintyWolf*)

i've been feeling abysmally low lately, due to the usual convergence of too many inconvenient health issues plus pain plus worries about elder statescat who is... once again reminding me to treasure her for the time we've got left together.
auronlu: (Fang)
Apologies to visitors from Tumblr, but I've had to disable anon-comments -- temporarily, I hope. There's a spammer getting through DW's usual filters. *grumble*
auronlu: (clueless)
Dear friends of an online friend...

When I see variations of "feel better soon!" on the journal of someone who's just won the Arthritis Prize, I feel sad.

Okay, no, I feel irritation.

ranty rant rant )


For someone with chronic illness, feel better is only, ever, a relative term.

And I feel sad seeing someone else discovering it.

And mad at myself for not knowing what words can comfort or help or cheer up somebody going through a bad spell.
auronlu: (Default)
I love secular Halloween, despite recent over-commercialism. Little kids showing up on my doorstep are cute. Giving them candy is fun.

I don't grow pumpkins anymore, but on the other hand, I don't have to fight Mom over which ones get made into pie.

Here's this year's offering. Yes, another cat pumpkin.



Quote for year from neighbor's kid (I'm wearing a black chiton with my black medieval cloak from college with the hood up:

"You look like Darth Vader, only girly."

WIN!
auronlu: (wishes)
From the unsung hero of the space program, the International Space Station, which deserves a helluva lot more press than it gets...

(be sure to click HD, and possibly fullscreen, if you have the bandwidth)

auronlu: (Default)
There's this old Japanese (?) brazier that's been kicking around in my family forever.
I assumed it was the four seasons kanji, but now that I look more closely, it isn't. Translation? ("Made in Japan for tourists, contains lead, do not use" was my mother's theory).



Oops. Upside-down, isn't it?
auronlu: (Bobblehead Night)
 Okay, THERE. I knew half the reason DW didn't feel very homey was that I didn't like any of the skins. I've personalized it a bit more comfortably.

My OCD side wants to tweak layout/font issues in the sidebar and footers, but this helps a ton. Please tell me if my fussing with layout has caused anything to spill over edges it shouldn't in other browsers. I tend to apply CSS positioning with a sledgehammer.

Now I just need my icons. This should be Mr. Blah Blah Blah. 
auronlu: (Default)
Is it just me, or is LJ refusing to take any input or edits? It's been glitching for me since Friday, but I haven't been able to edit or update (apart from one cross-post squirting through from DW) for a couple days now.

For the record, my last post should say "Final Fantasy Review Project" not "FFX Review project" -- mugs' initiative is for ALL Final Fantasy fandom. My bad.

I wish I were comfortable on DW. Its rich text editor does odd things, I'm missing icons, and, most importantly, I've been laaaaazy on learning how to skin / theme to my satisfaction. It's silly, but my writing and comfort zone are strongly tied to the visual interface (not only because my vision is 20-60, uncorrectable, and these teeny little letters in Dreamwidth's input box are a NIGHTMARE.) An interface I don't love nags at me like a mosquito bite. [ETA: Okay, there. I have changed the theme and dinked with the CSS. Much better.]

Nevertheless, I'm glad it exists, since I don't trust LJ.

Q: is there some way to force DW not to notify you every time a cross-post is successfully posted? I don't really need the notifications to start with, and with my bad habit of editing/tweaking posts after publication, I get yet another PM for every edit. I've got 80 on the first page of my inbox right now with no human contact mixed in.

As a result, I keep ignoring my inbox.

D'oh!

Jul. 14th, 2011 08:11 am
auronlu: (Default)
After recording 9 chapters' raw files, I discover I've got the mike set on omnidirectional, meant to pick up sounds in a room, rather than the setting that's meant for one-on-one recording. So I need to re-record them all, since the omnidirectional setting is a little more murky. Oh, well, practice makes perfect.

There is actually a less insane reason for doing this: for the last 20 years, since I first saw The Manhole, a surreal point-and-click game by the same folks that later created MYST, I've wanted to create a computer-animated audiobook of my favorite George MacDonald children's book from the 1800s. I've got to practice, or I'll never be able to pull it off. Of course, I also have to improve my drawing skills, which were never great and have atrophied. But...one step at a time. It's an odd wish, but the technology is now easily available, so...someday...I'd like to stop thinking how nice it would be to do it, and DO IT.
auronlu: (wishes)
I just wanted [info]cumuluscastle to see where her painting is now. It's under UV-shielded glass, just to make sure, although the room only gets indirect and tree-filtered sunlight.  

There is a distinct lack of cat on the perch, simply because I broke out the camera. Imagine a cat.
Aha. Behold a cat. Within scritch range when mousing. (If image is broken, it's here. What gives,DW?)




P.S. Why is FFXIII so painfully flawed yet excellent in parts? It reminds me of X-2; a curate's egg. Which is unsurprising, as they came up with XIII while working on X-2. 

I finally finished. Without spoilers, I will say that (a) Fang/Vanille pretty much makes up for any of the game's shortcomings for me (CANON! PLOT-ESSENTIAL F/F CANON!), and (b) it's a shame Vanille's voice was the one "miss" on the English dub. Her seiyu is better. But Fang's ...wow. 

Note: Please no late-FFXIII spoilers in replies; at least one person reading this hasn't finished.
auronlu: (Default)
Whoa. After a huge long span in which I could not write anything creative at all, a LHAD chapter is finished. Or drafted. Or something.

However, I am afraid to post any chapters at this point until the next 1-2 chapters are written, because it's insane to expect anyone to follow chapters followed by six-month gaps. (It is only slightly less insane to hope a few of you still want to read it, however long it takes.) Did the aircraft carrier just turn, or did the engine turn over 3 times and sputter out again?

I hope the former. For three days, I have put the entire rest of my life on hold to cup the little guttering spark that kicked off last Friday in hopes I can get the embers going again. Muse had better not go THUD OKAY THAT'S ALL YOU'RE GETTING BWAHAHA. This damned outline with bits and pieces of the finish line has been piling up and winking at me for four and a half years now. Why is is so hard to write the final act, when I began the entire saga by writing the ending?

Anyway, hi guys. I miss y'all, even if I have basically become Unsent. I enjoy sneaking in now and then and seeing how y'all are doing, even if it's extremely sporadic.

Or else I just schlorp one of my favorite ellnyx or Justira works into my text-to-speech reader to listen to as books on tape. I always feel a bit like a stalker doing that.
auronlu: (Default)
So, mad Russians finally drive me to Dreamwidth. I've always felt favorably about it, since most of the FF gang has migrated. I'm just bummed because I had my LJ set up exactly the way I like it, and it's a permanent account, so, all the icons forever. But usericons are minor.

I shall of course cross-post, and keep checking LJ -- in fact I'm still checking LJ first, before DW, because my brain is hard-wired to think of LJ as "home base." But I don't trust its stability. From now on I shall treat DW as the primary account and LJ as the mirror.

So there's that.

Second thing is that I'm playing my way through FFXIII, finally. I meant to keep a game journal, but, well, I didn't. It is such a curate's egg of a game, but for the most part I'm enjoying it. I want to tell [personal profile] heavenscalyx to play it, except portions of it would make her and Rose scream. But there is a canon lesbian relationship in the party, at least as canon as Sailor Moon (original, not English dub). It's a pity one of the pair is a bit of a sap, but I am happily focusing on their ship and not the parts of the game that work less well for me. I am relieved that several of the characters have turned out to be less annoying than they were for the first hour of playing time.

And, oh, Fang. Square finally gave me the female character I have been waiting for. Except I wish she had magic, too, but I guess that would be too much Mary Sue in one package.

Also, is it my imagination, or was someone dressing Lightning in Utena clothes? Plus roses and rose petals.

I'm up to, uh, the Palamecia, Luck Be a Lady bit. Trying to figure out which combinations of characters are useful and failing miserably...I keep running around in the first spot where you're allowed to mix and match teams, and dying because I've screwed up. I did too much level-grinding with Lightning + Fang + Hope and learned every way to use them, and now it seems like trying any other party, I'm missing all my favorite tools.

LHAD is jammed like 20 keys of a typewriter smacked there by an exuberant 6-year-old. I'm half regretting posting the last chapter: I loved the first half of it, with the gang gathered on the bridge of the airship decompressing, and that was fresh, new, scene so easy to write. The second half was difficult because I'd written Lulu Post-Sin 4 years ago, almost the first thing I ever wrote, and I've had years and years to build up various alternate versions of that moment, each of which had some emotional punch, but trying to pick and choose and stitch together all of them, I feel like I lost something. I'm almost tempted to retcon and post the original version of that scene, if it would let me move forward. So frustrating. I fear it may be that way all the way to the end. I wrote early drafts of the concluding chapters first, and I find the part of a story i've written and visualized and imagined the longest is the hardest to write when I get to it, because I wind up trying to connect all the patchwork pieces, favorite moments and cool lines of dialog like a quilt, instead of blazing a path forward.

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