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Head in the air

Had a total airhead moment yesterday when I put away the lab keys. Usually, when I start testing, I slip them onto my key carabena, which holds my student ID/department access card and main key ring (which holds my house key, office key, and department main door key), then when I'm done with the lab I keep them in my office drawer. Well, I got home yesterday and found I'd gone and unclipped my house keys and put them in the drawer, and brought home the lab keys instead.

So I had to cycle back to school to get the right keys. Luckily two of my colleagues were working late and hadn't locked up yet or I'd have locked myself right out of home and office! Then again, if I'd been the one to lock up the office, I'd certainly have had the right keys with me.

It was a bit of an annoyance because I'd been longing to get back and finish reading Winter--which was probably why I'd made the mix up in the first place, because my mind was already with the Lunar Chronicles.

Which are simply captivating.Collapse )

Day 19 - Which authors or books have inspired your own writing the most, and why?

I think I take a bit from every book/author/series I admire. I wrote in HP fandom for so long, I'm sure that has woven its way into my writing. Writing for any fandom, you tend to try and imitate that style so that you stay in character and in the book/series 'voice'. Obviously now I'm emulating the Percy Jackson style, but I find it really difficult because it's so American-conversational. I don't do snarky teenager all that well. Interestingly, even particularly well-written fanfic can bleed into my styles as well; fernwithy's stuff, for example, I find as compelling and excellent as any published book, and I've learned lots about linking scenes from reading her stuff.

I also keep a list now of little snippets, techniques, and descriptions from books that I find inspiring, or useful, so that I can examine how the writer executed things that created particular emotions that stuck with me.

Cos it’s 5am and I’m somehow awake.

Day 18 - Who is the antagonist in your novel? What drives their actions?

I feel like I’m just describing the PJO series. Perils of writing a fanfic companion piece I suppose. The real antagonist is the Titan that wants to take over the world after being locked away for millennia, but he operates through a kid (well, young adult) who is angry and disillusioned about his parents and wants to get back at them for abandoning him in his youth, and hurting his best friends. He’s also motivated by a smaller thirst to prove himself, and at the point of this story, he’s thrown in his lot so deeply with the bad guy that he can’t back out any more, even when he realises just what it means to be on that side, preparing for war.

One thing data collection is great for--reading on the side. I blew through three books already (yeah, I'm a total speed reader): Off the Page by Jodi Picoult/Samantha van Leer, Ship of the Dead (the third Magnus Chase), and Cinder by Marissa Meyer. That last one, admittedly, was too hard to save for tomorrow. I finished it after I got home. It's so great to sink my teeth into a real page turner.

Lunar Chronicles spoilersCollapse )


Today's NaNo questionCollapse )
Day 15 - Do any of your characters have a disability or mental illness? If so, how does that affect their development throughout your story?

Percy and Annabeth both have ADHD and dyslexia, but the conditions make as much appearance as they do in canon (which is to say, a passing mention). Neither of them are academic geniuses, but I hope to show their smarts in spite of that.
Day 14 - Is the sexuality of your characters a large part of your novel’s story? If so, are there characters who deviate from the heterosexual “norm”? In what way?

Not really; the romance is a subplot, and it's mostly UST and the main characters won't actually get together yet. Although I do have to tackle one kiss scene. The thing about doing fanfic for NaNo is that the characters are pretty much set (except for any OCs, and I don't know how many of those I can bring in for this fic). So while there is a canonically gay character, he's only a minor character and at this stage in canon no one knows it yet, so I don't think it will come into play in the fic.
Day 12 - Imagine you’re behind in your word count goals (even if you’re not) and are going to pull an all-nighter to catch up. Screencap a playlist of inspirational music you would use to get you up to speed.

All-nighters and me don't really mesh. But basically my writing music playlist on YouTube kinda looks like this:

Yuletide temptation

OMG, Yuletide has An Ember in the Ashes on the docket this year. I'm tempted to sign up. But seriously, I don't need a new project when I have NaNo planned, CoL cross-posting underway, two books sitting unread on my shelves, and a random crossover/AU series that spun out of nowhere but keeps crawling into my mind, and a piling up of fic on my to-read list.

Not to that little thing called a PhD ...

There's probably some argument to be made about, hey, if you always say there's no time, there never will be time--it's what I always said about NaNo. But with Yuletide, I would need to seriously reread whatever fandom I end up getting a request from to get familiar with it again, and so it will take a lot longer than something I've done adequate preparation for. Yeah, I'm probably going to just wait and see what comes from it and have a load of new fic to add to that growing to-read list. (That's what Christmas break is for, right?)

Reread complete!

Finished my reread of HP today--all via audiobook. So it's taken 4 months and a couple of days. Anyway, it was lovely to get back into the story that brought me online, into fandom, and onto LJ so many years ago. Although I barely write anything HP-related now, it was HP that got me properly into writing. Rereading (re-listening?) it now, I can appreciate even more the way JKR brought that world to life.

Also it's funny how some of the books lend themselves better to the audio experience than others. HBP was a surprise for me. It's not one of my favourites, but read out loud, it was surprisingly riveting.


Day 6 - What is your one biggest stressor related to forcing yourself to write at least 50,000 words in a span of 30 days?

Last year, I was actually more stressed about whether I was going to finish the thing in one month vs whether it would hit 50K. With this fandom, I find that elaborating isn't all that hard, but getting myself to the endgame in my stories is! This year, I'm going to try not to stress about it--if I reach 50K but haven't finished, that's okay. The problem with me is that once I get an idea as a goal/target in my head, I tend to want to hit it anyway and then I'm putting in way more than I have to!

To be honest though, I'm not all that stressed about NaNo. It's fun, which is why I do it.

Questions hereCollapse )

Spiral recovery

I had this little pic I wanted to share with wingsunclipped but it wouldn't load onto the comment, so here it is:


Basically, it's a reminder that even though the recovery process (and I guess this goes for any kind of recovery--physical, mental) is slow and winding and seems to be stagnant a lot, we're still taking baby steps forward out of the hole!

ETA: Meh, for some reason the gif isn't animating on my screen. I don't know if it's just my computer or it's stationary for everyone, but here's a the link to the image that is actually working (for me at least!): https://ic.pics.livejournal.com/shiiki/9464783/49535/49535_original.gif


I'm back from a short trip to the Midlands, and I'll post more about that later this week.

NaNo questionnaire day 4

Day 4 - What genre is your novel? Why did you pick it?

Is fanfic a genre? Subgenre action/adventure, I guess. And I'm doing it because I randomly started writing this alt-PoV fic after reading the PJO series last year and it just flowed ... and then I found myself imagining the next book from Annabeth's perspective and thought, hm, that could be a NaNo project. And now I'm finishing up with the third and have the fourth plotted out (it's a five-book series) , and since having a plot outline works so well ... that's my plan for this year!

All questionsCollapse )

New Grey's!

I can't believe this show is still going in its 14th season.

Nor can I believe I'm still watching. It's not as fun as it was, but there's still the hospital humour and the silly innuendos, and thankfully a lot less focus on the sex. I kind of fell off the show a bit after Cristina left, but I'm just vaguely following along when I have the time to.

First episode thoughts.Collapse )

I think in honour of the new season, it may be time to get back to that random GA-AU I wrote last month (or was it the start of this month?)

I'm just not feeling the last chapter of NoH at the moment anyway.

Writing and some snark

Day 3: Pick one of your female characters. Introduce your readers to her, from her point of view and her words only.

[Annabeth] Introductions? Really? I don't really do introductions. It's not wise to give away all your secrets to random strangers, especially when you don't know which of them may be monsters in disguise. But if you're a monster, watch out, because I've gotten lots of experience dealing with them by now. Well, except spiders. Those are never gonna be not terrifying.


Okay, that was weird. My fic is all first-person narrative, and somehow I'm still struggling to channel her here. Maybe it's just the end of the day and I'm tired and snarky because of a stupid bank letter on tax residency crap that I've already filled out twice and so why do they keep sending me the same damn things? Grrr.

Questions under here.Collapse )

Wardrobe malfunction

Note to self: it helps to check what clothes you've grabbed for the day sometimes. Thin white top + pink bra are not a good combination.

Yeah, I didn't even notice until halfway through the morning when I went to the bathroom that actually had a mirror and was like, hmm, that top is getting kinda threadbare. *headdesk*

Today's NaNo question: What’s the title of your story?  Why did you choose the name you did?

I'm still kind of undecided. It's basically an alternate PoV piece for Battle of the Labyrinth (the fourth PJO book), so it will be something maze related. My working title at the moment is 'Secrets of the Maze', but I'm not really sold on it. I need to go over my outline again next month and get a better feel for the main plot and hopefully either warm to the working title or find one that better symbolises the story I'm trying to tell.

Full question listCollapse )

Friending meme

I just did another friending meme. And am not sure if anyone will hop over and say hi, but if anyone does, um, hello? I promise I'm nice. Although I may be rather boring.

Hence the friending memes, I guess, as I'm quite enjoying the flist actually having posts to read and comment on again. It'll never be as active as 10 years ago--and quite honestly I was part of the post-HP exodus, though for different reasons--but it's nice to have some activity as opposed to a long list of daily_snitch updates.

ETA: Aaaaand another one:

happy fall multifandom friending meme!

Although LJ decided my comment there was spam. That's gotta be a first.


Nothing much, just another lazy weekend

The weather is getting decidedly autumnal. I thought I'd been getting used to the generally cooler temperatures in England when I managed to break out the t-shirts and shorts in summer (well, I know twenty degrees is most people's idea of hot, but I'm from the equator, so, yeah) but the first dip and I go back to okay, cold, cold ahhh. It's back to jumpers and track pants and my feet tucked under my sofa blanket.

(On the bright side, it also means moving into running weather! I love the 10-15 degree range for running. 5-10 isn't too bad either, because it may start out a little nippy, but then at least you're not pouring with sweat at the end of it.)

It's also the time of the month where chocolate is very welcome, so I treated myself to a bar when I was in Aldi doing my groceries. (I still can't believe sometimes that 30p chocolate is a thing here. Have I mentioned that I love grocery shopping in England? I can usually work out my total by simply counting the number of items I'm ringing up--it's practically like going to the pound store.) Anyway, it worked well enough with the fic writing. I'd write 1,000 words, have a chocolate square, do another 1,000, have a chocolate square, 1,000 more, time for lunch, and pretty soon there's another chapter down.

And then I got sucked into reading NotAlwaysRight which is kind of like tumblr but only the really crazy stories. I just found it yesterday so I've not really explored the site completely, but whoa. It's like watching a whole bunch of sitcoms. You really can't believe that stuff isn't made up. I guess we should generally give people the benefit of the doubt, but some of the people described there ... *shakes head*

Although I did just read one that was ridiculing someone for questioning how $13.95 + $6.95 made $22.15. So okay, the explanation was sales tax, but assuming the customer in question is foreign, they might not have realised that tax is added on top of the stipulated price in America. I always hate it when I go there and can never work out how much I'm going to have to pay when I buy anything because (a) I don't know the tax rate and (b) I'm hopeless at mental arithmetic anyway. I mean, seriously, I just want to know in case I don't have enough cash on me!

Anyway, it's now 5 in the evening and I didn't end up cracking open my new book (still time, though!) I just got it this week from my friend. It's on Greek myths, and it was nice of him to make the effort not just to get me something (I honestly hadn't expected it!) but also something relevant to my hobbies, although I hope when he said, 'Because you write stuff about it,' he was just thinking I wrote Greek mythology fic and not Percy Jackson fanfic like I really do. It's possible he does know, though, because I don't think I ever told him I wrote, but his girlfriend does know I write PJO fic, so she may have told him. Ah well, I don't think either of them judge me for it, so that's cool.

19 years later ...

Can I just take a moment to marvel at the fact that it is, in fact, 19 years later today?

There is something surreal about that.

Just sayin' ...

OotP is a stunning masterpiece of how to get on people's nerves with taunts that really get under your skin.

Between Umbridge, Snape, and Malfoy, it's no wonder I keep getting the urge to hurl the non-existent book (well, it would be my phone, but that would be really bad) across the room.

Makes me wonder how many people like that JKR encountered in real life, because ow, dealing with people who say stuff like that totally makes me want to slap a bitch.

Where the late days come from

Me at 4pm: Hm, I'm finishing my afternoon task already. Maybe I'll go home early.

4.05pm: Well, maybe I'll just have a look at this ... get a bit ahead on that ... fiddle with this experiment a bit ...


Hours later: Yay it's working. Time to pack up.

Wait, did I say I was going home early today? *headdesk*

Jul. 27th, 2017

Listening to audiobooks when working out kinda hits home just how much time I spend on it.

Anyway, several chapters into GoF now. Totally loving the Quidditch World Cup chapters. JKR captures the atmosphere of a massive international sporting event perfectly, with loads of humour to boot. <3

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March 2018



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