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.
auronlu: (plot device)
While afflicted with major sinus infections, I spend a lot of time communing with a neti pot in the shower and following it up with a cold pack sinus mask that covers my eyes, so I can't do anything for about 30 minutes.

So last fall I listened to my computer's text-to-speech bot read me chunks of Death Shall Have No Dominion (FFX/X2 epic AU) by [livejournal.com profile] owlmoose . 

Last winter it was Clarion (FFX, Braska's pilgrimage) by [livejournal.com profile] justira , whose writing style is apparently perfect for reading aloud. It's very rhythmic, with repetitions and dramatic pauses that help even a clueless computer figure out where to breathe and pause. This story grabbed me by the throat and still won't let go.

I have read before, but just had it read me again, These Unending Alchemies of Honor, another one by justira that somehow manages to pull off a believable Vaan/Gabranth (FFXII) story.

I feel entirely too much like Noah; I kept passing out after about a page and a half and having to get the computer to back up and find the paragraph before I keeled over. 

Nonetheless, Fanfiction Story Hour makes this much more enjoyable, as OMFG this is a BAD INFECTION. My entire head hurts as much as right after surgery, which is weird, as it's never done that before. I've turned the corner -- I have a whole KILL THE BUGS regimen to fight these suckers from Neti pots to grape seed extract to yes, antibiotics, but dannnnng, it was bad for a while there. I'm still pretty much going to be bedridden a day or two, so as not to push it. I've tried pushing it before, and it never works. (And yes, I am a wimp; it's not like this is oh, open heart surgery.  But my head is full of goo and I can't stop coughing, yet I'm having to use an inhaler and mucho menthol to keep breathing.) 

Any recommendations on another 25K-50K story for Heather the Robot Storyteller to read me in her soooooooothing and hypnotic voice?    

HOLY COW.

Jul. 21st, 2010 07:46 pm
auronlu: (egads!)
I didn't realize how deaf I was.

I just picked up a set of $30 headphones that have a bit more oomph to them, popped in a video from my "Adrenaline" playlist that I use to get myself prepped before writing a fight sequence, and...

EARS FLAT AGAINST SKULL.

My eyeballs are rolling around a bit, I think. Is this what the world sounds like to most of you?!!!

Good grief.

I now have to play all my games again with these headphones. I do have stereo speakers, but by the time the sound reaches my ears, it's a bit muddy. I have to use subtitles when watching most movies to understand the more softspoken lines.
auronlu: (butterflies)
... who said Alice in Wonderland wasn't all that good? I didn't see it in the theater because I was recovering from surgery, then got busy.

OMFG the Jungian powers of weirditude in that thing. I am kicking myself now for not seeing it on the big screen.

The entire whole story is a girl hammering out her identity through a fairly vigorous journey into the land of active imagination, in that wonderful headspace that the Sufis say is real: the third term between solid reality and pure spirit. That place where angels dwell, spirits, totems, and all that. Not real like a toothbrush, but real like love.

So much symbolism, but not intrusive enough to get in the way.

The Cheshire Cat's movements were so perfect: what a creepy yet charming smile. Since I used to draw him rather a lot, this is important to me. (They even got the image I see every time there's a crescent moon -- I always see it as the Cheshire Cat in the fall when it's tipped over slightly).  Also, the Dormouse had a dash of Reepicheep, which is amusing, since I used Dormouse as a handle in middle school, and I switched it to Reepicheep in college.

And the White Queen who is supposed to be the ultimate good good good in the world is so unseelie it ain't funny. Yikes, she's scary. I wasn't entirely sure I liked that on the first watch-through, but it fits.

Love this film. Adore it. I think it's my favorite Tim Burton ever, and I was quite fond of Scissorhands. My dissertation is now a Jabberwocky, and my defense will be the Frabjous Day.

There was even a shout-out to Jefferson Airplane tucked away in the lyrics during the credits: Remember what the Dormouse said.
auronlu: (Writer's Block)
And augh, it is hell. And I must make it work. I MUST.

I just rewrote an entire outline for all the parts that were jammed, and realized I had to throw out most of what I've written. Topic. Too broad. Too brilliant. Too all-expansive. Start over with something small and simple and obvious. FINISH, and humble thy pride. Even though it should be done by now, starting over may be the best option. Glugh.


But in brighter news, LHAD finally unstuck. I'd written a big chunk of the next chapter 3 months ago, but it was flaccid. So I set it aside.

Only now I have chapter 41 at 4,000 words, and it doesn't really have a great stopping place. and chapter 42 at 2300 words, and it's a PERFECT stopping place. Oh, there. Yes, rub that a little harder, angst cliffhanger CLIMAX. And chapter 43 started, and I know just where it's going, although I've said that before.

And oh yeah.

Best two quotes from today's (noticeable, but not damaging) earthquake:

(Paraphrasing some news article which sadly I forgot to save I'm too lazy to hunt up again):
"Petco park [San Diego's baseball stadium] swayed noticeably for several seconds. The public address announcer asked everyone to remain calm. The fans cheered."

and on Twitter,
"The worst part about a 5.7 earthquake? I'm afraid to go to bed without jammies on."

*says, sans jammies*
auronlu: (elma)
1. Dissertation eating me. (Surprise surprise.)

2. Chapter 41 is refusing to flow. I know what I want to happen, but it keeps being draggy, having not quite the right tone. I've let it sit on the shelf for a bit hoping to reboot the muse.

3. Totally random squee: At the end of FFX-2, if you bump into Elma, she's standing with an armored chocobo and says something like, "Can you believe it? They've asked me to reform the Djose Chocobo Knights!" So the Djose Knights return, and Elma succeeds Lucil as their captain. A minor detail, but it pleases me to see that part of my fanon converging with canon.
auronlu: (egads!)
Video of the earthquake we had about 2 hours ago. This is slightly stronger than what rocked my house, but only slightly. I'm guessing it was filmed in San Diego.



Everything's fine -- Mexico took some damage, and there's local kerfluffle like Disneyland shutting down the rides to check them over, but California's fine. I'm just worried about the folks down in Baja. I have a hunch the building codes may not be as strict down there.

Best comment so far on Twitter:

"RT @wilw: Apparently the #earthquake was upgraded to a 7.2, but I'm still seeing a 6.9 from the Russian judge. (kids, ask your parents.)"

Also, the comments on this picture are illuminating:

Earthquake damage in Mexicali, Baja California!!!!  on Twitpic
(Thumbnail is link to full photo. This house is in Mexicali, Baja)

I found it via Twitter. Two of the four comments are news reporters (CNN, AP) asking for permission to use the picture.

In other words, for breaking news, one often gets photos/videos on Twitter first; and the news stations scramble to catch up.
auronlu: (Default)
So, after getting yet another sinus infection -- world, this is NOT FAIR; I had sinuplasty and other surgery done a month and a half ago so I'd stop having these things! -- I've discovered a way to make the time go a little easier while spending fifteen to twenty minutes every few hours in neti pot meditation.

Copy and paste several chapters of a fanfic into a text-to-speech app, and have my computer read it out to me while I poach my nose. (I've got cheapo speakers with a long cord, so I prop the speakers on the towel rack and leave the computer safely in the next room).

NaturalreaderFree + the Alex voice works fairly well, except that I have to global replace "—" with "..." because it reads em-dash oddly.

Anyway, I've been doing this for a few days with [livejournal.com profile] owlmoose's epic, Death Shall Have No Dominion. I'd read a good chunk of it in the past, but between my fears of overlap between it and LHaD, and grad school, I'd fallen hopelessly behind. So I started from the beginning and read it again.

I've been reading a few chapters at a time, but tonight I got sucked in and read the last 15 chapters all at once. Of course. It was a good yarn, as I knew it would be. I just wish I'd read it all while her co-author [livejournal.com profile] kunstarniki was still with us.

Brain is now dribbling out ears. I should sleep -- siiiick -- but I am selfish about my creative writing-time. Maybe I can get a little bit done before I conk out.

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