sienamystic: (tempt me)
I feel like writing but can't figure out what I want to write...except I'm in the mood to do something schmoopy or smutty or, or...

So I dug out this old meme that I've already dug out once before. Pick a pairing (het, slash, femslash are all okay) and I'll write a short scene where they share a kiss (or, uh, more than that.) Crossovers welcome unless they break my brain in half (although at this point breaking my brain is almost the point because this is the same meme that resulted in Bunter/Eliot from Leverage kissing, and may have been the one that resulted in a Castle/Buffy crossover that has inexplicably become a very well-loved story, so what the hell.) I will do my best.

Fandoms: Buffy, Avengers movieverse, Dresden Files, Leverage, Firefly, Constantine movieverse, Sayers, Bourne, Castle, Jennifer Crusie, Vicki Bliss, Star Wars (yes new movie has gotten me thinking), MacGyver, Heyer, Lord of the Rings movieverse. Am happy to try fandoms that are not my own but am not responsible for making you cry because of terrible characterization based solely on things I've seen scrolling through Tumblr. No refunds.

The Jet Age

Oct. 4th, 2015 08:24 pm
sienamystic: (commedia)
I think I'm allowed to check a bag for free on my trip. It's difficult to tell, though - or maybe I just automatically distrust what the airline is telling me (one free bag!) because I'm certain there's a line of small print somewhere that explicitly sets out conditions that will make me pay eleventy gajillion dollars when I check in. On the other hand, they did send me a chirpy email telling me that I have only a few more sleeps until rest and relaxation! How nice of them to think of me and remind me that I should charge up my phone and remember to bring my earbuds.

I'm still quite excited about the trip but as things get closer I've also had a bunch of things to solve that have taken up a big chunk of mental real estate and have made me really, really wrung out. I'm packed, at least, although I'm convinced that I've packed useless things that aren't really outfits and will leave behind something vitally important. At least it all fits in a shoulder-carry bag. I thought about taking a larger wheely suitcase but figure trying to heave it over bridges in Venice and cobblestones everywhere else probably doesn't make sense.

I also had that lowering thought that probably comes to most people excited about a little travel: the imp in your head that says, "why bother, you're just coming back to the same old grind, it's not like anything will be different. You'll just have spent a bunch of money to generate a big circle, net zero." I am doing my best to ignore that voice, because while technically speaking, it's accurate, it's also the farthest thing from the truth. If nothing else, this trip will give me some quality time with my sister and also some quality time alone with my own thoughts. I really need that at the moment.

Maybe being so tired now will mean I'll actually sleep well on the airplane. That would be a first.

In more local news, I went apple picking with Bemo and the members of my book club, and loved it more than I anticipated. The trees were bursting with fruit and it all tasted so good and I made a big apple crisp that was fantastic. There's something satisfying, maybe on a primitive level, about just walking around with a crisp tart apple you've just picked, enjoying the sunshine and watching the monarchs flutter around.

In more fannish news, it's the season for secret santas and holiday fic exchanges. I can't decide if I want to sign up for them - I haven't written anything in a really long time and don't know if I have any story bopping around in my head at the moment. I really should decide before I go because I think signup deadlines are looming.
sienamystic: (Be More Awesome)
This coming week is going to be on the rough side, stress-wise. I'm doing some stuff at work that is Big and New and I am hoping I have organized everything but of course am scared that I haven't remembered to do something important that will screw things up. Plus it's stinky hot out, the kind of heat that just wears you down and makes you want to crawl inside and hug an air conditioner, and it saps the will out of me. Oh! and of course I'm crampy and irritable and hormonal as well.

I hope I will feel much better by Friday, and that everything goes smoothly.

Bemo's birthday was yesterday so we had chocolate cake and ice cream and friends brought over port and good chocolate and we played Cards Against Humanity and were happily raucous.

I'm also trying to nudge myself into writing more,but not fic. Instead I'm trying to work on the original book I've been trying to do for years now, but always find myself stalling out on (I hate plotting.) Maybe I can get something going with it finally.
sienamystic: (commedia)
Just got back from a meeting of the book club I'm a part of. We were discussing Fangirl, and talked about writing fanfic myself (one other girl there has) and some of the other ladies had read it. Amusingly, the person I'm closest with was basically, "I don't get it - not the attraction to reading it or writing it, and same with cosplay and other fannish stuff because it's all just make-believe like when you were five and pretending you were a puppy" so it was an interesting conversation. (I did not tell people where to find my fic or even what my fandoms were - both would be bridges too far! I did say that I was just writing one before I got to the party, which is indeed the case - yay for Be-Compromised.)

Anyway, I think I'm kind of the old lady of the group, although perhaps not by a whole lot. It's not a big deal in that specific sense, because I get along well with these people, but I'm really starting to...worry isn't the right phrase. Hmm. I feel like I'm not where I'm supposed to be in life, I suppose. Which for me means that I worry because I don't make a lot of money, feel pretty useless and uncertain about the whole career thing, and wonder where I'll be in five years.

God, I mentioned my salary in a conversation over Thanksgiving with just me, my husband, my father in law, and my stepmother in law and SMIL said, bewildered, "Isn't that the level where you get food stamps?"

Uh, ouch. Ouch, ouch, ouch. I'm surprised I didn't hide under the table for the rest of the trip.

I need to get back to therapy, but I don't know if it was helping me get anywhere. I feel like I need someone to whip me into shape, not listen to me.

But mostly, there has been a potential medical issue that's cropped up recently that's part of it. I'll go into a little bit of lady TMI here so stop reading if you're squicked by it.

So, I just had my period, like...two weeks ago. And I'm spotting again, right now, a not insignificant amount. And there are a lot of reasons that could be, but none of them are a whole lot of fun. It's possible I might have inherited my mother's endrometriosis - there are possible signs that could back that up. There are also the possibility of polyps. And there's also the possibility that I'm about to go into perimenopause. I'm 39. I am definitely old enough for it. But somehow the idea of it has set off little sirens in my head, ALERT, ALERT, ALERT.

I see my dr. in a week and a bit, so I can ask her about it then. But it's just roiled up all my insecurities about who I am and what I do, and I'm not sure how to process it all.
sienamystic: (Bourne)
My fic writing has slowed down very much, and I'm not sure whether to do the whole Yuletide/Leverage Secret Santa/Be Compromised gift exchange this go-round. On the one hand, it might get me writing again, on the other hand I might be stuck writing something that's coming very hard and getting stressed about it. I haven't bothered with any of the nomination business for Yuletide, so I would have to hope that things I want to write do show up - the Rivers of London series, for example, might be fun although I don't know that I could write in that voice.

Anyway, I'll think about it.
sienamystic: (Venice)
So I wrote the story Born To Milder Tasks, in the Gentleman Bastards universe. It's a little story that hopefully offers a glimpse at Sabetha and Nazca, two young terrors who are surrounded by people who don't really understand how smart...and unwise to cross...the two of them are.

I was given an excellent story in the Dresden Files universe, from someone who could appreciate my obsessive deep enjoyment of Murphy/Marcone. Their story is Tiger Balm, and I love it a bunch.

Can't reveal the story I wrote in the Be-Compromised (Black Widow/Hawkeye) Secret Santa, but will do that soon.

Been struggling a bit to write recently - so much other stuff happening. But this was fun.
sienamystic: (Venice)
Oh my gosh, so gorgeous. The art was ravishing, the little spirits such a nice nod to Spirited Away, the story held together so much more. More of this, Korra people.

In other news I have my assignments for Yuletide and the Clint/Natasha Secret Santa, and am excited and am starting to noodle through ideas for them.
sienamystic: (tempt me)
No fic writing, but I've been beavering away on a new approach to the book I'm theoretically trying to write. I've always stalled out early on in the process before, but keep plugging away. I made the decision to take it from first person to third person, and to skew a little more in a particular direction, but it's also making me have to figure out new things, like who my antagonist is. There is a strong family/found family kind of theme running through what I have so far (please let it be working and not anvilivious!) so the contrast I'm thinking is an antagonist with a family situation that was either damaging or which they damaged. I don't know if I'm good enough to write a nuanced, loveable villain, especially since I'm considering things like Caligula's three sisters as a trio of witches, who are the reason he turned from a relatively stable young man to a crazed murderer. (Allegedly!) Hee. Or maybe Livia might work, given powers due to her deification but twisted by anger at watching the family line she worked so hard to bring to power flame out. I need something more solid for motivations. Maybe I should go reread my Sutonius.

Assisted with a group of women for a self-defense class today, all hearing-impaired. There was a signing interpreter and some family members taking part who could also interpret. Very interesting, and a bunch of cool ladies, most of which were thrilled to get the opportunity to try and rip each other's arms off. (It always happens!) Probably unsurprisingly, they were all very quick to pick up on subtle body language and movement, and were fast learners.
sienamystic: (Be More Awesome)
This is why none of the half-hearted attempts at novels I've started will never become anything - I generally can't plot for beans. Here is the unfinished bit of sequel to I Act Out And You Act Tough, a Leverage/Buffy crossover featuring Eliot and Faith and their encounter somewhere on a lonely back road. I wanted to have Faith meet the rest of the Leverage crew, and I have, but now I need to come up with some sort of con the team can pull on the vamp crew they've called Faith in to cope with, and my brain resolutely refuses to provide one. Maybe I should just start looking some up and cram one or two in to get me writing something, anything, to wind this story up. Or maybe they can start an elaborate con and Faith gets impatient, says "fuck this," and starts killing vamps. Except that would sort of diminish the Leverage side of the story. Arrgh. Suggestions or comments gratefully accepted.

shipping up to Boston )
sienamystic: (surly bonds)
So the dominoes refused to fall properly so I gathered them up and relaid them in an unorthodox pattern and then had everything fall into place. So my Big Task is done and done well (because I work with an awesome team of people who know how to get things done right), but I'm still plagued with anxiety kitting me in the face at random moments, plus a touch of paranoia now that I'm sitting in the airport. You know, the whole "what are they going to do while I'm gone and can't defend myself?" kind of thing. It's mostly my stupid brain and the sick system in operation at work, and I hope the sound of waves will make it go away because geez. I'm so tired of myself right now and I know everybody else around me is too.

Anyway. Meme.

I currently have 47 works archived at the AO3. Pick a number from 1 (the most recently posted) to 47 (the first thing I posted there), and I’ll tell you three things I currently like about it.

Also I have a Dresden kissing fic to write! Have to ponder that one.
sienamystic: (tempt me)
As seen everywhere. I had to go back aways because I'm not an especially prolific writer - the plot bunnies only hop past once every so often. And there are a lot of things I admire that I feel no need to write for, while some pairings just seem to generate more stories out of me. Style-wise, I don't know that I can interpret much about my own tendencies. I try to go for punchy, I guess? Like everybody else?

A little bit of commentary with each first line.

all under here )
sienamystic: (flowermachine)
Title: In Two Straight Lines in Rain or Shine
Fandom: MCU/Firefly crossover
Characters: the Firefly crew, Clint Barton, Natasha Romanova
Rating: Gen/G
Disclaimer: I own neither, alas, alack.
Summary: On a barren dustball known as Budapest, the Firefly crew pick up two new passengers

They smiled at the good and frowned at the bad and sometimes they were very sad )
sienamystic: (Joan)
Went to the 4 hour driver's ed class (after getting a ticket for rolling through a stop sign) and honestly, it wasn't nearly as bad as I had expected. The instructor was engaging, and people participated enough so that things didn't stagnate. The class was about evenly split between older ladies and younger kids (I was one of only a couple who could be described as middle-aged). Towards the end, the group of older ladies got a little chatty and clueless, and the young dude behind me was getting increasingly more irritated with them, but thankfully the class ended soon thereafter and I didn't have to turn around and try to set him on fire with the power of my mind.

We also saw several long PSAs that were all dealing with texting and cell phone usage while driving. They were pretty effective. I can only imagine how horrible it would be to know, as in the case of one of the stories, that your sister lost control of her car and hit a bridge while trying to read your text that said, simply, "Yeah." I don't text or use my cell phone while I'm driving, but I do fuss with my ipod sometimes, and I think that's a habit I need to break.

There was also a young woman in class who valiantly tried to argue that the cop giving her a speeding ticket meant that child abusers and murderers were running free, but that got pretty briskly dealt with.

I've been helping with the kids classes at the dojo on Saturday morning. It's amazing how flexible and energetic the little boogers are. And how differently they learn. There's a redheaded little boy who doesn't have a lot of body coordination yet, but he's really intense about getting things right, and he screws up his face and silently watches everything like a hawk.

Have been rereading Heyers. Need to reread my Yuletide source material. Am a little intimidated because my assignment seems to want, essentially, original fiction, and I don't quite know in which direction to go.
sienamystic: (Catherine heart)
Have pulled out the file for the book I was pecking away at and seeing if I can actually turn it into something. It will require finding a plot, and learning how to write characters that resemble human beings. Also, I think it is asking to be turned into something where the romance is a bigger strand, instead of something I was not even sure would happen.

Of course, I then went and read a Jenny Crusie, and am now feeling like I shouldn't bother.
sienamystic: (mermaid)
Fandom: Dresden Files
Title: Files
Rating: Gen, all-ages
Summary: A Justine POV vignette, set sometime post-Blood Rites and pre-Changes. There's a question she needs Harry to answer. In the meantime, she's learning other things, and filing them all away. Written for Yuletide 2010.
Disclaimer: All characters property of Jim Butcher. I just enjoy taking them out for a spin occasionally.

Harry Dresden’s information was, of course, in our files. )
sienamystic: (bosch sienamystic)
Now that I'm a few days late...

At any rate, I wrote a Dresden Files (Jim Butcher) story, a short take on a Justine POV. I had fun writing it, and my recipient seemed to really enjoy it, so hurrah! Here's the link on AO3, and I'll post it to LJ at some point soon.

Files
A Justine POV vignette, set sometime post-Blood Rites and pre-Changes.
Summary: There's a question she needs Harry to answer. In the meantime, she's learning other things, and filing them all away. Gen.

Alas, I haven't written anything else for Yuletide - perhaps I'll take a look at the prompts for a New Years thingy.
sienamystic: (Harriet Vane)
Although the later letters of Dorothy L. Sayers are a lot more heavy to go through, as she's answering a lot of mail on heavy theological topics, vol. four has proved, like the others, to contain a lot of interesting gems. First of all, Sayers is a brilliant writer whether she's producing a mystery novel, a play, a translation, letters, or something on a religious topic, so you get her wit and dash and verve throughout. I came across some of her observations on Narnia, and how Lewis wrote women, and thought people might be interested in hearing some of them whether you agree or disagree.

From a letter dated 21 December 1955, to Barbara Reynolds

"I'm glad you got hold of Lewis (C.S.). I like him very much, and always find him stimulating and amusing. One just has to accept the fact that there is a complete blank in his mind where women are concerned. Charles Williams and his other married friends used to sit round him at Oxford and tell him so, but there really isn't anything to be done about it. He is not hostile, and he does his best, and actually, for a person with his limitations I think he didn't do too badly with the Lady in Perelandra. What he suffers from chiefly, I think, is too much Romantic Literature, far too much Milton, and, as you can see from Surprised by Joy, a life bounded by school, the army, and the older universities. ...(Here, Sayers advises that no person should be allowed to be a don unless they've done time in a job that gets them out into the bustle of the world - she recommends backstage at a repertory theater specifically - to get a person loosened up and more emotionally free and also for gaining experience with the wide vagaries of humankind.) He is probably frightened at bottom, like most of these superior males, and, like Milton, is capable of being clumsy and even vulgar - a think you never find in Dante or Charles Williams, however eccentric or exaggerated their ideas about the sexes. Still, there it is - a defect, like a squint or bow-legs, which one has to put up with or ignore as well as one can."

She goes on to talk about his religious conversion and how they can be frightening things to experience and praises his gift for being able to invent new worlds "both beautiful and plausible" [she compares him to the "dreary mechanisms of the space-fiction merchants, and I wonder what she had read by them...something like The Cold Equations, perhaps?] and for letting girls have big active roles in the adventure stories.

From a letter dated 10 Feb. 1956, to Barbara Reynolds

"I'm glad you and Kerstin [Reynolds' young daughter] like the Narnia books. I can understand that the slaying of the Lion might be a bit frightening - though I was a very tough-minded beast of a child, and always insisted on having all the bloodthirsty bits read to me, to the great horror of my elders. ... And it is interesting that she should have felt the atmosphere of tension right from the start. All the books have that tension; I think it possibly comes from the writer's very strong sense of the reality of good and evil. The Silver Chair is a very good one, and so is The Voyage of the Dawn-Treader. And they all come out right in the end! Also, the girls, on the whole, are given as much courage as the boys, and more virtue (all the really naughty and tiresome children are boys); and they are even allowed to fight with bows and arrows, thought not with swords - a curious sex-distinction which I don't quite approve of; as though to kill at a distance were more feminine than to kill at close quarters! [Sayers then goes on to praise Marfisa, a female warrior in a text that continues the legend of Roland. Marfisa is apparently a really tough chick, and now I want to read these tales very badly.]"

From a letter dated 28 March 1956, to Barbara Reynolds:

"C.S. Lewis has just sent me the concluding Narnia Tale - The Last Battle. Don't think I should try it on Kerstin yet awhile - it really is rather terrifying. Everybody is killed in a railway accident, and they all go to Heaven - very apocalyptically. But that isn't so frightening as the earlier part, over which there broods a rather awful sense of the whole world being caught in a sort of totalitarian trap like a fairy-tale version of 1984. It would be all right for a toughish child who could get through it at one sitting, but if read slowly in bits might lead to anxiety and nightmares."

I really like the name Kerstin.
sienamystic: (Default)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel The Series

Little Plastic Snowflakes (Buffy, Willow, Giles, Xander, Angel)
La Serenissima (Darla, The Master, OC)
This Useless Unhappiness (A:TS ensemble, Faith)
Baggage (Cordelia)

Firefly

Everything Tilted and Still (Kaylee)

Little Green Apples (Kaylee/Mal, adult)

Iron Man

Human Resources (Pepper, Tony)
Untitled Ridiculous Mary-Sue Crack (Tony Stark/a thinly disguised me)

Constantine (Movieverse

Things Known and Unknown (John, Angela, the beginning stirrings of John/Angela)
I Haven't Gotten Used to That(Angela, sort-of sequel to the above, adult)
50 themes, 1 sentence (John Constantine)
Untitled Angela drabble (Angela)

Lord Peter Wimsey

Poor Hardworkin' Pleeshman (written for Yuletide, Charles Parker, Peter Wimsey, Bunter, Dowager Dutchess)

Harry Dresden

Bad Ideas (written for Yuletide, Harry/Murphy/Thomas)

Anita Blake
Equilibrium (1/9, simply click "next entry" to get to the rest. AU set after Obsidian Butterfly, Anita, Edward, an OC)
sienamystic: (OMG octopus attack)
I've been pecking away at an Iron Man fic for a couple of days now, and while bits and pieces of it please me, I keep reading other, really well-written pieces, go back and look at mine, and wonder why the heck I'm bothering. The few times I've written fic that pleased me and that I didn't hesitate about posting were all prompt-driven, and their general outlines mostly leapt unbidden into my brain. I could get it all out, tweak it a bit, and then feel comfortable with the results.

My first attempt for an Iron Man fic was deemed too sentimental by my sharp-eyed sister, and I knew she was right. And the one I'm working on now is...well, as I said, it's ok, but I wonder if I'm covering ground already taken care of by better writers. Not to mention the fact that the whole beginning-middle-end thing is not exactly working itself out for me.

That's the big issue, isn't it - the writing isn't coming magically from some corner of my brain. I'm having to work at it, and that means I'm very distrustful of the results I'm getting on the screen as I type. I find myself quadruple-guessing myself. I moan to myself about triteness, bad dialogue, verb tenses that wander back and forth like lost puppies.

Anyway, this is just a bit of a processing noodle-through. I'm not entirely sure why I write like I do, and I think all of this, failures and all, is probably good for me. At least it helps me identify my own habits so I can work on them...and maybe the end result will be that I finally finish that barely-written urban fantasy I've been trying to hash out for so long.
sienamystic: (House and Stacy)
If anybody has a fabulous recipe for Sweet and Sour Pork, please pass it along to me so I can forward it on to Cherbear - she tested out a version of it last night and while it was tasty, it wasn't quite she was expecting (for one thing, it wasn't a bright orange-red! How odd!)

I did my own take on Chinese food this evening, with pork chops baked in soysauce and garlic, and a veggie stirfry (carrots, snowpeas, water chesnuts, broccoli, and bamboo shoots stirfried in oyster sauce). Then we hopped in the car and hit up Chinatown for some sesame balls stuffed with red bean paste. So delish.

While we were over at Cherbear's, we watched Lord of War, the Nicholas Cage movie about gun-running. Very, very solid movie. Nicholas Cage is a pretty great actor, even if he seems to be quite the wack-job in person (with some sort of Elvis hangup to boot) and the story was nicely ambiguous.

My paper has not progressed quite as far as I had hoped, but I'm starting to rewrite the thing properly this time, with all the footnotes the Diva could wish for. I'm also trying to figure out how to restructure it so it makes more sense. I did a bit of wibbling earlier today, with a whole, "I can't do this thing! I can't!" Since then, I have regained a bit of control and determination. (Er, which explains how I'm on Livejournal and not at my desk working hard on it, right? Right.)

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