Journals and Micro-blogging
My journal and my primary home base on the Internet. Personal posts, political posts, fandom posts, cross-posting of fic and other announcements. If it's important, it will end up here sooner or later.
A mirror of my Dreamwidth. As of this writing, and for the foreseeable future, I cross-post all DW entries to LJ and allow comments in both places. If that ever changes, I will make ample announcement. I also use my LJ to participate in a few communities.
Brief daily life tidbits and interesting links. This is where I'm most likely to share the kind of links I used to share via Google Reader. June update: Basically inactive right now. I need a better iPhone client.
Mostly reblogs (fandom, politics, cute animals), quick fandom thoughts, and daily life spam. Increasingly, I'm posting my fic here first, as well, although anything worth saving will end up cross-posted to AO3. As of June, where I am most active on the Internet.
Fanfiction. This is my fanfic archive, complete starting in November 2009, and some older works are there as well. Some things will be posted to DW or Tumblr first, but AO3 will always be the place to find the definitive version.
My older work, all Final Fantasy X/X-2. No longer updated with new stories as of December 2007.
Writings of an Owlmoose
My WordPress-based fanfiction archive, complete through December 2010.
Updated sporadically. I intend to use it more regularly in 2012.
Links to cool and useful things. Mostly for my own saving purposes rather than sharing, but I'm always happy to add people to my network!
This list is current as of June 3, 2012. Subject to change as communities and my online participation shifts. Feel free to add or follow any of these accounts! I have a fairly free add-back policy. :)
Words written: 7,840
Words of fic written: 5,133
Stories worked on: One
Stories posted: none
( Charts are distracted by other things that I might talk about later. )
1. Write an average of six days per week, with at least one writing sprint, with a goal of getting down to less than 20% behind the annual pace. I forgot when I made this goal that I had an East Coast trip planned for April, and other distractions also came along, so I missed this almost entirely. I did get almost five days a week, though.
2. Add at least double the current wordcount (currently around 7k) to the current draft of Wardens of Ivalice, part 2. Not quite, I only added a little over 5k words, but I feel pretty good about what I did add. I also watched a bunch of FFXII videos and read bits of the DA lore books, which may not add to wordcount but certainly helped with planning and inspiration. The videos, especially -- I've been away from immersion in Ivalice far too long.
May includes both a concert week and some travel, so I will set my goals accordingly. I want to keep working on Wardens of Ivalice, of course, but I find it creatively odd to be working on only one project; on the other hand, I don't really have anything else nagging at me right now. I do have a couple of older Genprompt Bingo cards lying around, and a couple of potential exchanges I could check out. We'll see what comes along.
Goals for May:
1. Write at least five days per week, including at least one writing sprint. (I'm going to keep putting this as a goal until it sticks, because I really do think it's important.)
2. Continue work on Wardens of Ivalice by fleshing out at least two more sections.
3. Write and publish at least one short fic.
4. Write and publish at least one post for ladybusiness.
The 2016 Hugo Award finalists were announced today, and unfortunately -- but not unsurprisingly -- the Rabid Puppies ran away with them, to the tune of around 80% of the nominations (I can't get a direct link to the post to work, but the comparison to the slates should be at or near the top of the blog). This result, after a record-shattering 4,000 nominations came in, dispels three claims that have been part of the Hugo conversation lately:
1. The problem will be fixed if more people nominate -- a larger nomination pool makes it harder for a small voting bloc to game the system. I used to believe this myself, and I was moderately hopeful that getting people who signed up last year to vote against the Puppies to nominate would blunt the effects of a slate. Now, though, I'd say the evidence against that theory is pretty strong (although we won't know until the long lists come out in August). When you have a straight winner-take-all voting system, and the pool of potential nominees is this large, it doesn't take much of a bloc to overwhelm the legitimate nominations.
2. The Puppies are in this to see that popular authors writing quality works get nominated, as opposite to "authors who buddy up to the social justice warriors" (I feel dirty just typing that out). Considering that I have never heard of most of the authors on their list (except for a few big names, clearly nominated as cover), I don't see how anyone can make that argument with a straight face anymore.
3. Another argument that no one can make with a straight face: the Puppies are in this to keep political, "message fiction" from being nominated. A simple look at the Related Work and Short Story categories puts the lie to that assertion. (But look with caution. One of the titles in Related Work actually caused me to curse in chat, multiple times, which renay can tell you is something I only do at times of great duress.)
So, yeah. That happened. And it sucks, especially to have my hopes about the larger nomination pool dashed. But here we are, again, and what should we do about it? In the long term, obviously, WorldCon needs to pass E Pluribus Hugo, the change to the nomination rules that seems most likely to make a difference. I understand that the analysis of last year's voting data suggests that it would have blunted the effects of the slates but not removed them entirely, but it's better than nothing, and I think it's worth giving it a shot to see how it works. As for how we deal with this year, I have two thoughts.
First, on how to vote. Like last year, everyone is going to make their own decision on how to proceed, and there's no right or wrong way to do it. Last year, I voted almost entirely anti-slate; the only Puppy nominees I put above No Award were in the Dramatic Presentation categories and Editor-Long Form, the former because those categories rather removed from fandom politics (and some of their choices were on my own nomination ballot) and the second because good people convinced me that some of the editors were worthy of my vote. I think that was the correct choice last year, because we needed to make a strong statement that slates are wrong, and that opposition to diversity is wrong.
But this year, I think I'm going to take a softer line, and consider more of the slate-listed items. The aforementioned cover, of course -- enough people have spoken highly of Seveneves and the Sandman story, for example, and I'm a big fan of Lois McMaster Bujold -- and anything else that folks can convince me is worth my time. Why am I less inclined to sit this one out? For one, it's more obvious which of the choices are cover and which are [the loathsome troll who will go unnamed here] rewarding himself and his cronies. For another, we already tried the hard-line No Award strategy, and it didn't stop [LTWWGUH] from running a slate yet again. So now I feel like the better choice is pretending he doesn't exist. He's going to claim victory no matter what we do, so I prefer taking the path which gives me more satisfaction. And this year, that means looking at the works and judging them by my own standards. (And in some cases, the title or the person's name will provide more than sufficient data to make that judgement.)
Second, one of the reasons I got involved in this whole Hugo thing to start with was the hope of discovering new works and authors for me to get excited about. There's a few things to get excited about on this list, but not nearly enough. Last year, the Hugo long list provided some of that, but why should we wait? There's nothing to say that we can't share our nomination lists and get excited about things we love now. So, as an antidote to all this angry-making business, I propose that we do just that. Someday later this week, I'll kick it off with a list, and I hope those of you who nominated will share your lists with me, as much as you feel comfortable. And then we can get back to having some fun talking about the works we love, because isn't that what fandom is about, in the end?
We'd thought about the zoo tomorrow, but my knee is not cooperating, so we're going to visit some nice non-hilly museums instead. Probably the National Gallery of Art, where we've never been, and the Renwick Gallery, which has a Maya Lin exhibit. Should be interesting.
A pity -- the show had such promise, and although the second season was a mess, the partial reset at its end had me somewhat hopeful for the future. (I didn't hate Katrina as much as some fans did, but the character had nowhere left to go long before her exit.) But clearly that was all squandered. At least I can free up some space on my DVR.
By all, I mean all, not just the FMVs -- it even includes snippets of most major boss battles, at least one shot of each Quickening, and the introductory shots for most of the world areas. The video is over six and a half hours long, and it was worth every minute to remind myself of details of story, landscape, and characterization. The characters' voices live in my head again, more so than they have in years. It's no substitute for living with the characters and Ivalice through a hundred hours of gameplay, but it was decidedly better than nothing.
Making writing progress, too, if slowly. What's mainly got me blocked at this point is giant plot details that I don't know yet. But I'm hoping that sitting down and writing up the character work, the character moments, will give me plot. It's worked before, anyway.
Fandom: Mass Effect/Final Fantasy XII
Spoilers: Implied, for Garrus's recruitment mission in ME2
Notes: Written for the 2016 Final Fantasy Kiss Battle, to a prompt by lassarina. This is justira's fault, entirely. My first time writing any sort of ME fic at all, so be gentle.
Also on AO3.
Garrus flipped a credit chit at the bartender. "Another," he said.
The asari shot him a hard glare. "Haven't you had enough already?" In answer, Garrus glared back, and the asari picked up the chit with a heavy sigh. "Fine." She tapped the chit to the reader, then frowned. "Huh."
"What?" Garrus drained the dregs of his drink and pushed the glass to the side. "Something wrong?"
"It's been declined," the bartender said.
Garrus clicked his mandibles in irritation. "That can't be right," he said. "Try it again."
The bartender crossed her arms. "It won't work," she snapped. "Besides, like I said, you've had enough."
"Fine," Garrus rumbled. "I'm sure another bar on Omega would be happy to take my money."
"Be my guest." The bartender tossed the chit at his face, but before it could hit him, a hand snatched it neatly out of the air.
Garrus turned; the hand belonged to the human man sitting next to him at the bar. The man studied the chit, pushed it toward Garrus, and then pulled another out of his vest pocket. "Let me cover it," he said.
The asari looked at him, glanced at Garrus, then turned back to the man. "You sure?"
The man shrugged. "Why not? I hate to see a good fellow go begging for a drink. And I'll take another of these" -- he tilted his own empty glass in her direction -- "as long as you're at it."
"He's not exactly begging," the bartender grumbled, but she took the proffered chit and verified it before pouring the two drinks and handing them over. Then she slid around to the other side of the bar, as though to avoid any further conversation, not giving them another look.
( Garrus turned toward his seatmate, who he thought might provide better company. )
Fandom: Dragon Age 2
Characters: Merrill/Isabela/f!Hawke, Bethany Hawke
Spoilers: For endgame of DA2
Notes: Written for the 2016 Wintersend Exchange (a lady-centric fanwork exchange for Dragon Age). This is the first time I've participated, and it was great fun. I need to browse more of the other entries.
Summary: After everything goes to hell in Kirkwall, Isabela whisks away her two girlfriends for a life on the high seas. Merrill and Hawke promise to obey their captain and learn to be good sailors -- a promise that lasts until the first time the ship is boarded.
Also on AO3.
Isabela stood on the edge of the dock, looking up at the forbidding stones of the Gallows for what she dearly hoped was the last time. "All right, that does it: we're getting out of here. All of us." She turned to face her girls: first Merrill, green eyes wide as she surveyed the damage, and then Hawke, whose face was unreadable. "Captain's orders."
Hawke shook her head. "But-- the mansion, I have to get--"
"Hawke." Isabela circled her fingers around Hawke's wrist, finding the bare skin above her gloves, and Hawke started, turning to face her. "Admit it: there's nothing you need in the mansion. Not really."
Her shoulders slumped in a half-sigh. "I suppose not," she murmured. "But-- Mother--"
"Mother would want you to be safe." Bethany stepped out from Hawke's other side and turned to face her sister. "Even if that means leaving all your physical memories behind." She half-smiled. "We did it often enough, before."
Hawke looked at Isabela, then back at Bethany. "I suppose you're right." She glanced at Isabela again. "The ship's ready, then?"
"Has been for weeks," Isabela replied, forcing a lightness into her voice that she didn't really feel. "Just waiting for some passengers." She turned to Merrill. "How about you, kitten? Do you need anything?"
( 'Everything that means anything to me here, is here.' )
Words written: 12,183
Words of fic written: 7,429
Words written to date, 2016: 27,441
Percentage off getyourwordsout pace: 26%
Stories worked on: Three
Stories posted: One
( Chart madness )
1. Write at least five days per week, including at least one writing sprint each week. Yes on the days. I didn't do a writing sprint as such each week, but I felt like I did a reasonable job of sustained writing.
2. Complete and publish fic for Wintersend exchange. Success, and reveals have now happened! I wrote a bit of light post-game Merrill/Isabela/f!Hawke, posted to AO3. I'll do a real crosspost soon.
3. Crosspost oustanding fic from Tumblr, fandom_stocking, and Final Fantasy Kiss Battle to AO3. Also complete. I want to crosspost some of those to Tumblr as well, which I'll get on this month.
4. Pull one old WIP out of storage and finish it (or make enough progress that it can be finished in April). I worked some on the Hawke in DAI fic, but I'm not convinced I'm feeling that one -- I have several ideas for it, and am in love with none of them. I also thought hard about the Alice/PotC crossover, but I'm pretty sure I need to watch at least some of the movies again to kickstart it. So instead, I worked on Wardens of Ivalice, and I'm going to move forward with that.
Since it's March, I also want to check on my annual goals:
1. Report monthly wordcounts to getyourwordsout, and share WIP snippets with ushobwri at least once per month. Stretch goal: hit 150k pledge amount. I've been checking in at GYWO, but I think it's time to admit that I'm on hiatus from ushobwri. It was useful to me for a time, but it got to the point where checking in on it felt more like a chore than an incentive. I'll remain a member, because I do enjoy the community, and hope to get back to it someday. As for the stretch goal, it's not looking good, but it's early yet. I've picked up steam each month, and I have hope that this trend will continue.
2. Participate in at least one Big Bang and one fic exchange that I've never done before. I participated in Wintersend for the first time, and found it quite a satisfying experience.
3. Set aside one month to work on Wardens of Ivalice as my main project for that month. Not yet. See below.
4. Participate in at least two journal-writing challenges/projects. I think it's safe to say that signing on at ladybusiness counts for at least one of these. :)
5. Archive all flashfic to DW/AO3 on a quarterly basis. I actually did two rounds of this, one in January (although most of that was fic written in 2015) and once in March.
Not bad, overall. Goals for April:
1. Write an average of six days per week, with at least one writing sprint, with a goal of getting down to less than 20% behind the annual pace.
2. Add at least double the current wordcount (currently around 7k) to the current draft of Wardens of Ivalice, part 2.
And... that's it. I might work on other things, and I do intend to keep posting in my journal and write at least one full post for LB (I already have a topic in mind), but it's time for my Wardens of Ivalice month. Watch this space for meta thoughts and idea wrangling, and wish me luck.
I've talked about this position a little bit under lock, but not generally and not in any detail. About a year ago, I was working on contract for a tech company, but the work was wrapping up (actually, it wrapped up about a month before the contract officially ended). When I mentioned this to my friend D, she asked if I would be interested in taking on some part-time work for her organization, a social science research non-profit. It took a few weeks of back and forth and wrangling with the main office, but I came on at about half time to work on two projects. Those projects ended, and then other ones came along, and it's been going on like that ever since. I recently signed on with a project that includes hours at least through the end of the year, and I took that as a sign that I should start thinking more-long term.
At the moment I'm an hourly employee, working on projects as they come up. My title is Research Associate, which in this organization can also mean secretary, but so far I've managed to focus mostly on projects that use my librarian talents: literature reviews, constructing search terms, reviewing documents for relevance and categorizing them, even a bit of writing. I've talked with HR and my manager from time to time about formalizing my position, but I suspect that would mean taking on more of the grunt-level administrative tasks. Also, I like the flexibility of being able to work more when there's more work to do, and less if things or slow and/or there are other things going on in my life (travel, vet appointments, etc.). Going permanent also probably mean giving up on finding librarian work, at least for now. I haven't actually applied for a librarian position in awhile, so I suppose that's just a formality, but I want to preserve the option.
So, that's the status. Even if not my dream job, it's interesting work, and I'm hoping I get the opportunity to learn more about the social sciences and non-profit land. In particular, I'd like to get some experience with grant writing, since that's one of the easiest ways to make money as a freelance writer, and I continue to think about moving more in that direction. It's pretty good, and if it ever stops being so, it will be easy enough to move on. I've also continued doing personal assistant work for another friend (I recently finished cataloging his library!), generally one day a week. So it all chugs along. Maybe someday I'll want to kick the career back up a notch, but for now I'm fine for that to take a back seat to other things in my life.
Once I do get them, it remains to be seen how, if at all, my use of Tumblr is affected, but I plan to continue cross-posting for the indefinite future -- that wasn't just about the replies thing for me, anyway. But I'm happy for everyone who was missing them.
I mean, okay, that's an overstatement, but I've never felt the fawning love for this show that we see in some corners of fandom, especially not in comparison to the other Marvel TV properties -- yes, even Agents of SHIELD, although I accept that one might be more a matter of personal taste. The first season was all right, this second season was all right, but both seasons made choices that actively bothered me, and I'm not convinced that either a third season of this show or bringing the characters forward into The Defenders will confront my questions and concerns to my satisfaction.
Anyway, here are my main issues, under a cut for all the spoilers.
( Manpain and more manpain, manpain galore. Also the things I liked. )
I can say that I successfully limited my reading of cis straight white men, even through Hugo nomination season. I only bought four prose books by authors falling into this category (I decided not to count comics and graphic novels this time around), and the only one I've read so far is "The End of All Things" by John Scalzi. The others were all entries in series that I'm already reading (Jim Hines, Max Gladstone, and Robert Jackson Bennett), and I will sprinkle them through my reading next year.
As to whether I did better with authors of color, since I didn't track closely, I can't really say. I did make a point of reading several novels by authors of color -- as it happens, none of the books recommended in the comments to the above-linked post, although I did catch some of the authors. In particular, I'm annoyed with myself for not getting around to Octavia Butler, as she was the ghost of honor at this most recent FogCon, and one of the biggest gaps in my reading by SF/F masters. Still, there is always this year, and my new goal is to pick up and read at least one book by her before WisCon. The main new author of color I discovered was Zen Cho. I adored her new novel, Sorcerer to the Crown, and I want to start looking for her short fiction. But I think it's probably still fair to say that I read more white female authors than any other single category, and it's the category that continues to be hardest for me to branch from -- possibly because so many of my favorite authors are (as far as I know) straight white women.
One good side effect of this reading challenge is the diversity of my Hugo ballot. There are no male authors on my novel ballot, and two of the books I nominated were written by women of color (Zen Cho and N.K. Jemisin); the effect continues down-ballot as well, because I haven't yet listed a single white male author in any of the prose ficton categories. (This doesn't hold in the multimedia categories, though, including graphic story -- I really wanted to give The Wicked + The Divine a nod there.)
One of the biggest knocks on reading challenges like this is that they don't change anyone's behavior long-term, and I want to fight the impulse to just go back to what I was doing. The main takeaway for me is that I need to figure out a tracking system that works for me -- not just for keeping track of my own reading patterns, but to improve my contributions to Lady Business. Maybe reporting my reading there will succeed where other plans have failed. And then maybe I'll have more to say next year.
I also looked over the program listing, indicated interest for way more panels than I'll actually be able to attend, even put my hand up to be on a couple (and am thinking about a couple more).
If you'll be there, let me know, and we can plan some adventures. :)
First up was the honored guest reading (which is always on Sunday morning and always a must-see for me). Ted Chiang (whose panels I somehow managed to completely miss) gave an excellent and thought-provoking talk about life-logging and its potential effects on memory, both good and bad, a sort of non-fictional response to his story The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling. Donna Haraway read from her work in progress (and covered very much the same ground as the presentation she gave yesterday; it was well down, but I found myself wishing that she had done something different). And Jo Walton read a sonnet and the opening section of her book The Just City, which may have moved somewhat further up my to-read list. Walton is a particularly gifted reader -- she infuses her words with life and humor.
After lunch came the Draconic Appreciation Society panel, for which I had high hopes, and those hopes were realized. Marie Brennan was on it -- always a plus in a panel, for me, but especially since I really love the dragon series she's currently writing (the Isabela Trent books). Jo Walton was on the panel as well, and it was just generally a good mix of entertaining panel and enthusiastic audience. Discussion started with the history of dragon myths in Europe, and Jo Walton's theory that Northern dragons are based on stories about snake creatures -- when there were no snakes in Scandinavia. From there, they talked about dragons in different cultures (and the curious fact that many different types of creatures are all recognizable as dragons), books that disappoint their readers by having dragons in the title but not in the story, whether dragons always mean fantasy (like space ships always mean science fiction) and what that means for books like Pern, and whether the discovery that dinosaurs had feathers is going to start influencing dragon design in the future. I was actually the first person to bring up the Temeraire series, in the context of dragons as partners to humans rather than either pets (ala Pern) or threats (like Smaug or Dragon Age), but then someone in the audience linked that to the different dragon myths in cultures around the world.
Afterwards, I had my second opportunity of the weekend to geek out over Dragon Age with Marie Brennan, which is one of the things that has most boggled my mind about going to cons: the idea of chatting with authors who I admire about totally unrelated works that we're both fans of. I'm glad to be getting less shy about that sort of thing, and I hope I'm able to not become completely star-struck when the time comes at WisCon.
- Breakfast with friends
- Panel on the ethics of magic, which covered all kinds of great territory. Dragon Age was mentioned a few times, and afterwards I actually went up to Marie Brennan (author of the Lady Isabela Trent series, among others, whom I admire both as an author and as a speaker) to talk to her a little bit about it.
- Lunch with forestofglory and her family, including a really tasty dish of ice cream
- I missed the start of the first afternoon panel, so instead of wandering in late, I checked out the dealers room (which I escaped relatively unscathed, only bought one pair of earrings) and dropped by the con suite, where folks were discussing one-note actors and WorldCon.
- A character building exercise with Guest of Honor Jo Walton, which turned into a world building and storytelling exercise, a process both fascinating and entertaining (and thought-provoking to me as character-driven writer who has always felt inadequate to developing plots and original worlds).
- The official lecture by non-genre Guest of Honor Donna Haraway, who had a lot to say about the history of science and mythology and how human culture has developed.
- Ventured out for dinner at a nearby Mexican restaurant, where I read through and enjoyed a couple Nebula nominated stories (as Hugo homework).
- My last panel attended tonight was about the domestic in fantasy, which was so interesting that I took actual notes, and I plan to write a bit more about it tomorrow.
- Hit the bar and then the con suite; in both places, I got into entertaining conversations with people I know, people I've seen around the con, and people who were new to me. And when I left, it was because I was getting tired (and wanted enough time before bed to tap out a few notes about the day), not because I wasn't enjoying the conversation and/or was feeling socialed out, which is seriously progress for me as far as cons go.
It's taken six years of attending, but I finally feel like I"m not starting from scratch every year, like there are people who remember me from previous years and are happy to talk to me again. Like it's a community, not a new collection of strangers every time. Maybe that's because this con is still fairly young, or maybe it's just that I'm getting better at it, but it's a good feeling, and it makes me happy.
One more day!
I'm on two panels, both today, both in Salon A/B. One is in the first afternoon slot, so hopefully at least a few early birds show up. :) Saturday and Sunday I'll just generally be around, so come find me! I'll have both KJ and owlmoose on my badge.
3pm: The Transformation of Fandom
8pm: Good Villains & Bad Heroes: the transformation of the "good guy/bad guy" trope in modern media
Looking forward to it. :) As usual, I expect to be documenting my adventures on Tumblr, so if you're curious for more real-time updates, you should watch over there.
After literal years of neglect, a couple of weeks ago, I fired up my Loral Mahariel game and finished it, all the way through Witch Hunt. See my Tumblr post, linked above, for a couple of snaps. My previous shots of Loral are from my brief attempted at playing DAO on my Mac, which did not go well, so I recreated him on my console (which is why he looks a little different, although I think I got him pretty close). But I was unable to get any better pictures, and most unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to take a good snap of his reunion with Morrigan. I am quite fond of him in the Blackblade armor, though.
Thoughts on Loral’s endgame and DLC choices:( Cut because this is really rather long )
Living in the future makes me happy.