hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
I read the eARC of Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen. Verdict: disappointing and, to a large extent, boring. Oh dear.

spoilers )

On the other hand - lots of Sergyaran Shack fic coming up, I suppose there's something to be said for that.
hedda62: (time travel)
Collections of unrelated observations make a post.

1) One really should not wake up on Mother's Day with Vienna Teng's "My Medea" going through one's head. But anyway, it was a very nice day on which I was fed brunch and cocktails and got to blog at three of my platforms (here, here, and here, if you're interested in, respectively, kolomikta kiwis, trees, and WWII airplanes vaguely related to thoughts about writing the little people in wartime, perhaps I'd already had a cocktail by that point).

2) Tangentially, with regard to the first, I keep realizing how annoyed it makes me when people a) don't pay attention to what you've said repeatedly, b) don't investigate things for themselves, and c) don't ask you to weigh in when you're standing right there, therefore d) making either themselves or you or both look like idiots when taking something that's not really a problem to an authority over both your heads. But so it goes.

3) Oh, while we're on blog posts, ha ha I used a thyme machine.

4) On the "Person of Interest" semi-renewal (for 13 episodes in the latter part of the season, demonstrating CBS's utter lack of commitment): obviously I want the show to go on (hopefully being picked up by another network or Netflix or something), but also am hoping that the limited engagement next season will mean tighter storytelling, whether it's for the endgame or a lead-in to more. They were just all over the map this season, with pointless dead-end subplots sprouting every few episodes, and not enough attention paid to either the main through-line or the intimate character details that used to make the show so compelling. A few of the episodes were stellar (and those were the ones with tight writing and a simple plot), but not enough were even average or coherent. Just trying to do too much, I think. And it just doesn't work for me to have occasional "wow, feels!" moments interspersed with a lot of garbage - I really need to know that someone's telling a story and sees where it's going, even if I'm kept pleasantly in the dark for a while. Was waiting for all those threads to be pulled together into whole cloth in the finale, and - it didn't happen, and in fact nearly the whole season didn't really advance plot or character development much. Or, at least, it was all going on beneath the surface, which may be great for fanfic, but not otherwise. And where there was development they tended to tell not show. With the possible exception of Root, they weren't using any of the characters to full potential. (Especially Bear.)

5) Other shows: still enjoying "Elementary" and "Orphan Black" (which also has convoluted plot lines, but I don't really care if I follow it all since it's the characters who matter for me - hoping they tie Alison's storyline back in though), hanging on for the end of "Mad Men" though not caring too much about it, thinking that "Castle" should have ended for good with this season (maybe "The Good Wife" too, we will see).

6) I don't think I've said anything about the upcoming new Vorkosigan book - I guess I'm excited about it, though perhaps not so much as I should be? Very glad to be seeing more of Cordelia, of course.

7) I'm scrambling to get as much done in my mess of a landscape as possible before summer really hits with its horrible heat and humidity (a taste of it earlier this week, yuck), and we have construction on a new porch/deck going on. Then I hope to write my way through the rest of it.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
[personal profile] yunitsa wanted to know: If you were in charge of the Vorkosigan books, what would the next one be about?


There, that was easy.

But to expand slightly: I would LOVE a tale of Piotr (and Olivia!) during the Cetagandan War, or any time before the action of the current books starts. Or, if we have to go forward chronologically, something about the coming-of-age of the next generation, after Miles's death. I realize this may sound like I hate Miles, and I don't, but I think we've had plenty of him, and I have next to no interest in filling in the gaps in his life. Though of course if Lois wrote that, I would read it. If she wrote the phone book, I would read it. There would be a lot of the letter V.

In other news, I have spent a fair amount of time in recent days writing more of the Ben-as-Henry-Gale story I started some months ago, and am really hoping to finish it soon so that I can start properly panicking over actual real life commitments.

Also, it has been ridiculously cold here, which is not news to many of you. We've had the water trickling in our bathroom sink for three days without stopping, so the pipe won't freeze, which we only do when temperatures are consistently below 15F (it's the north corner of the house). Mornings have been in the low single digits, with below zero wind chill. Today it might actually reach freezing, though, which will be like a heat wave. As xkcd said so brilliantly, this is the old normal.

Also, the cats are behaving like regular old cats who live in the same house now, not exactly playing together, but observing each other playing, and eating side by side, and all that. Lancelot has been doing Speed Personality Transformation, and now looks to possibly be headed for dominant feline status (Hotspurr is just too easygoing to object, I think). First we thought he'd never come downstairs, then we thought he'd never stop hiding when he saw Hotspurr, then we thought he'd had a deprived kittenhood and never learned to play, but now he is collecting ALL THE MICE and hoarding them in the chair that used to be Hotspurr's, and skittering around chasing them. He still doesn't really understand the point of the laser pointer, but he may yet catch on. It's been a long while since we had two cats at once, and - they actually learn from each other! They also (perhaps inadvertently) team up to make fixing dinner very difficult if they haven't had theirs yet. Twice the underfoot I am used to, half of it blending with the black and white rug.
hedda62: my cat asleep (laura hobson)
[personal profile] eris asks: Who has been your favourite POV to write (in any canon), and why?

Oh dear. *clutches head* I am perennially unable to pick favorites in anything, so this is going to be hedged like a field of hawthorn. I love all my adopted children! (And my self-created children, too, but I'm sticking with fic for this one.)

Naturally I started by making a list (under the cut) of all the POV characters I've used, some of them a lot and some only for a tiny bit, organized by fandom but in no particular order under that, and excluding the few original character POVs I've had, and also anything that got posted on my journal but didn't make it to AO3, because I'm lazy that way.

look at them all! )

So, because I can't pick one, I'm going to pick five in no order of priority. Some of my fics (Children of an Idle Brain, Imperial Bedrooms) have short snippets from different POVs, some of which I enjoyed writing greatly, but I'll cross them off for these purposes because it didn't give me a chance to get to know the characters well enough; some of them are just short fics, so ditto. Which still leaves a really broad field… well, let's see...

And the winners are, with no explanation other than "*smooshes them*":

Laura Hobson, from Lewis

Harold Finch, from Person of Interest

Aral Vorkosigan, Simon Illyan, and Gregor Vorbarra from the Vorkosigan Saga

But, but, but…
hedda62: Ben Linus, well-bruised (bruised ben)
My AO3 page, for reference.

In last year's fanfic review, I noted that my rather staggering output all occurred in the second half of the year. That's pretty much true in reverse for 2013, since from August onward I was concentrating on getting my original fiction into print YAY and dealing with my feelings about "Person of Interest" season 3 and just not having the urge to write much. Which is still true, unfortunately for the several fics that are still sitting unfinished/barely started on my hard drive (or actually "in the cloud"), and though I still owe something for the Irrelevant Gift Exchange it's not likely to be posted until the new year. Which is why I can write this review now.

In the first half of the year I wrote a good deal, if not as much as last year: over 79K words of fic. Most of it in one fandom. And so, this is clearly…

The Year of "Person of Interest." I may have fallen for Harold and John and the others in 2012, but 2013 is when I ramped that up and started making a serious contribution to the fandom (which was still relatively small at the beginning of the year, but has grown like crazy - which is nice, because kudos keep coming in on a regular basis from the new fans).

I did write in other fandoms, and for me personally I feel like this is the year of "Lost," since I swallowed it down in a big gulp in the spring and have been using a lot of my downtime since to watch it all over again several times. But I only wrote one actual self-contained fic in that universe (along with a crossover with "Cabin Pressure" and a heavy reference in a POI snippet), and though "To Make Amends In" has done quite well in hit count as "Lost" fics go, what fandom there is doesn't seem to hang around AO3. I do have another "Lost" fic on the burner, but if I finish it or write others it won't be to get nonexistent fandom points.

Aside from that, I'm not sure I have any defining themes for this year. I did get a trifle more adventurous in terms of ratings, and I did play with writing styles here and there, but I don't have last year's long-ass list of Year-Of and X-Is-The-New-Black. Though both Sam Shaw and Grace Hendricks made significant fashion contributions, and of course Harold Finch, though he doesn't wear solid black even to funerals.

So, under the cut, I'll just do the "best of" list as I define it. Read along if you wish! No spoilers.

Read more... )

I think that's it; questions and comments welcome. Aside from the gift exchange story, the next thing I really have to write is an epilogue to Time and Fevers (all the other books have them, and it felt left out), but I'm hoping I get inspired to finish at least the Bujold fic exchange story I promised [personal profile] philomytha this summer, oh dear I am a terrible person. Just no writing brain at the moment, but it will return, I promise.


Sep. 22nd, 2013 06:59 pm
hedda62: Ben Linus, well-bruised (bruised ben)
I think there was a WIP meme that did something like this, at some point; anyway, I'm going to do it, because for once I actually have four WIPs (I am usually a one-fic-at-a-time girl, but one of these has been hanging around forever and the others could use a jumpstart, though Oh Lord Please Not Yet I Have No Time).

One of them is here (the next bit in the Sparrow/Goshawk 'verse), and for the others (two Vorkosiverse, one Lost) I'm going to list working title (none have real titles yet), first line, and last line written, and you should feel free to ask me anything about any of them (including the linked one), in hopes that it will make me think.

Read more... )
As a bonus, since I've been editing the early chapters of Time and Fevers, you get perhaps my favorite first line ever:

There were definitely more rocks in the soil of Maine than was reasonable.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
Yesterday went: walk around Trexler Park twice, muffin and smoothie (no coffee because driving between insufficient rest stops, daaaark chocolate instead), three hours behind the wheel singing music about time and birds, collapse at home with sciatica and a slight migraine, post Tom Lehrer lyrics and Brett Cullen snaps (it was his birthday too!), discover that [livejournal.com profile] penwiper26 sent me a "Person of Interest" button yay, pick up hubby from Metro, unwrap all the Navajo jewelry he got me in Arizona, go out for Thai food, talk about the kids who both started classes that day. Then came home and:

a) read lovely story [personal profile] philomytha wrote me about Simon and Alys.

b) (not unrelatedly) watched first two episodes of "Orange is the New Black." Which I like (especially Kate Mulgrew, OMG) not least for the way it moved through the slightly-itchy "our perspective character is the pretty blonde white girl DUH" into a complete self-awareness of that trope ("I've only spoken to white people!"). And I think I'll keep liking it. But wow, what a year for shows featuring women - "Orphan Black" and I can count "The Good Wife" since I only started watching it this year. And PoI achieving something close to parity.

Speaking of which, [community profile] pofinterest_chat is active and chatting about PoI!

And now my coffee is done so I must pack plants into the car and go off to the garden. TTFN.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
Last two ficlets! (Except for one not requested directly in the meme, which I am still thinking on.)

For [personal profile] raven, Simon and Alys, Vorberg's POV.

For [personal profile] pendrecarc, Sam Shaw and unexpected affection.

This was fun, thank you all.

ETA: Put all of the POI ones up in a collection at AO3.
hedda62: Harold Finch, half in shadow, text: Oh, Mr. Finch (finch)
Two more ficlets, and I will try to get to the others soon!

For [personal profile] philomytha, Simon and Finch going to tea at the Residence, which turned out to be the start of a new Sparrow-verse fic, which I will write in full... sometime.

And for [personal profile] killalla, Nathan and Grace in a bar. Because.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
I'm working my way through the suggested ficlets slowly, but I'll get to them all, I hope. So far:

Part of a version of "Anecdotal Evidence" set in an AU where Gregor/Ekaterin works, for [livejournal.com profile] avanti_90.

Finch and Reese pick strawberries, for [livejournal.com profile] yunitsa.

In other news, here's a link to entomologist Mike Raupp talking about cicadas on Jay Leno the other night (with bonus Russell Crowe). I have the distinct pleasure of getting to listen to this guy once or twice a year; he's our extension's version of a rock star, or at least a standup comic.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
A few months back [personal profile] isis did a post about her negative reaction to present tense fiction, in which she discusses how despite being supposed by many to be more "immediate," to her present tense is distancing. It's a good post *pause for you to read it* and I understand what she's getting at even though I don't "bounce off" present tense in the same way. I do often feel there's an excess of This Is The Now in fanfic, but as long as something's well written I don't care much what tense it's in, and there are lots of things that will throw me out of a story faster than verbs with s on the end.

However, I'm as prone to navel-gazing as the next writer (you all have figured this out by now) so I do think about tense along with all the other elements of a story (also, being a writer of time travel books gets you noticing it even if you're committed to using standard past tense narrative). Until last year, I wrote almost exclusively in past tense, and when I moved into using present I thought of it as an effect of suddenly writing a lot of visual media fic - that "immediacy" thing. (A lot of other things changed this past year, of course; one could make all kinds of false assumptions about, say, menopause or hyperthryroidism or empty nest syndrome causing present tense to break out. I don't think we need to go there.) Certainly when I'm writing, to choose a totally random example ha, Vorkosigan fic, I'm going to write in past tense, because my style is not wildly different from Lois Bujold's, and to some extent I'm modeling on the books. I can think of a few examples of Vorkosigan things I might choose present tense for - it would be interesting to write Memory fic from Simon's POV that way - but in general I don't consider anything but past tense.

(I'm not sure "consider" is the right word, actually. But more on that later.)

Some published fiction is written in present tense, of course; most of what got me thinking about this last week was finally getting around to reading Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel, which by the way is just as wonderful as Wolf Hall, and let me tell you, reading about Thomas Cromwell and writing about Ben Linus (even a Ben Linus on the way to reformation, if I may confusingly use that word) is an interesting and strikingly appropriate combination. Oh my. No, I do not want to read the crossover, though I would like to watch the chess game, or listen to the trash talk. Anyway. WH and BUTB are in present tense, which I remember clearly not noticing until well into WH, which tells you how well it works. And I suppose if I were to write Mantel fanfic (there is a vanishingly small chance of this) it would have to be in present, or it wouldn't sound right. The opposite (writing present-tense fic based on something in past tense) is somewhat more likely (for me, I mean; other people do it all the time).

you are reading more )

*The Past, the Present, and the Future, not the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Thanks again, Ebenezer.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
A meme gacked from [personal profile] lamardeuse, first lines from my most recent 21 fics, just because it's so much fun. The first two I'm inventing on the spot (so may very well alter when I actually start writing), and the third's only a few paragraphs written. So ha, let's see how this goes and whether it means anything.

knights-errant, power games, and jaguars )
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
Need to get organized soon to go downtown for the home and garden show, but just wanted to mention that oh bloody flipping hell I am writing the Cyrano story. I knew my brain would go there as soon as Harold's did, and of course it's horrible and fucked-up and strangely compelling and... charming. It was meant to be a few sketchy scenes and now of course it's a story, and I don't know where it's going (besides the obvious place, I mean). And it's in Reese's POV, which I find much harder than Finch's, because the word and image choices are less natural to me; in this case it's particularly hard to have him be laconic when he's having conniptions over what Finch is asking him to do.

sample of oh-god-why )

So yes, there's that. I am beginning (after eight months of this, heh) to realize that I have acquired the habit of thinking in fic, and it is really not the most practical thing for me to be doing just now, but I guess I'm enjoying the results (both the words and the attention, to be honest). Other things that may or may not get written, that have been sitting in my head or have popped into it recently:

1) Okay, not really serious about the PoI/Groundhog Day crossover, but wouldn't it be intriguing?

2) Make "Sparrow" and "Goshawk" the first legs of a trilogy. I'd love to have Finch meet young Miles (so a couple of years on, at least). What would I call that one - "Penguin"?

3) The post-S7 Dear Stephen sequel. Not much of a hit count there, I suspect, but I'd enjoy it.

4) The story where James is reading "Winnie the Pooh" to Robbie's grandson, with Robbie and Laura watching, except casting everyone in the show as characters in the book. (why my brain why)

5) And yeah, I still have the beginning of "Aral's Conversations" on my hard drive, and I do intend to finish it someday.

And I will no doubt get more PoI ideas as the season gallops to a finish. (That's an ironic gallop, at the moment; I'm sure we'll get there. *waits impatiently*)

I'll try to write more when I get home.


Mar. 20th, 2013 01:23 pm
hedda62: Harold Finch, half in shadow, text: Oh, Mr. Finch (finch)
And finally the icon. Better late than never, as Finch would probably not say.

I thought it was time for another "darlings" post, the rest of which (and the explanation) can be found here. AO3 page here.

The next set after I last did this are the three timestamp meme Vorkosigan fics. For "Anecdotal Evidence" the favorite line is clearly Gregor's: "Mm. Installation, design, and maintenance of emperors. The Vorkosigan mandate." (Because I love when serendipity makes me appear clever.) For "The Heart Has Its Reasons" it's a less easy choice, but I think: And he snapped out, good and bitter, 'the hell with the past tense, Simon,' and we started laughing. (Oh, Jules.) And I don't really have a favorite bit from "The Same Side of the Board" (though the dialogue's not bad throughout).

"Goshawk" is long and had a lot of lines I liked, but I guess I'll still go with Alys's "You've forgotten to add 'full of terrorists,'" she noted. "Unless your objection is to the nature of the establishment or to Lieutenant Finch as my escort." (Or possibly "I'm not giving it to you as jewelry, Captain Illyan.")

"Children of an Idle Brain," oh dear; there is so much writing in this that was consciously shaped, it's hard to pick one bit out. I mean to put together some kind of post on writing dreams, soon, so let me arbitrarily choose Isolation is his hallmark; it's stamped in little greeting cards all over his skin, each of them yearning to be opened because it has a dreamlike associative quality to it, and because I didn't have to worry it as much as many of the other lines.

And then "The Three Graces," for which I can't choose between "Blessed are the peacemakers," Harold said sardonically, "for theirs are the treats in the special drawer." and But if you want to go with spoons, that's fine with me.

(Also worthy of mention: But the fading rays of sun in his mind's eye weren't lighting sand and ocean; the sun was setting over New York, and John was alone in the Library, older, grayer, Bear gone… it was really not to be allowed. I should note that the first draft of this sentence ended "it was unbearable" until I realized the horribleness of the pun and hastily rewrote.)

I am fighting another migraine and have to go out tonight and talk intelligently for an hour about spring vegetable gardening, and my projector remote isn't working, and argh. But this too shall pass.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
Be damned to you, [personal profile] gogollescent, for making me (by force, I assure you) start rereading Post Captain last night and spend the day thinking off and on about Simon Illyan as Sir Joseph Blaine. This delightful Stephen/Diana on Sergyar story is why. Note long comment thread.

The subject line quote (Stephen to Sophie, about Jack, obviously) is also resonating rather forcefully, as some sort of pattern for male friendship, though I'm not sure I can think of another pair for which it might be appropriate, except perhaps Christopher Robin/Eeyore, and that was a tail, not ears. But in the sense that Jack and Stephen are my epitome, my archetype, my gold standard of odd couple perfection, that's what I'm looking for. He seweth while he chastiseth, no doubt, but he's always there to sew. And Jack always goes after Stephen when he falls out the window. (And I don't ship them at all, pray pardon the pun, which doesn't stop me from shipping any other odd couples I take a fancy to.)

In my head, Stephen is walking into Simon's office complaining querulously that being seen entering ImpSec HQ is going to blow his cover, and that his role as ship's medical officer doesn't allow enough time to be the secret observer Simon sent him into space to be (too much sewing people's ears on, probably), and that Kline Station officials killed off all his experiments, and oh by the way here's the intelligence you wanted. Not that I'm ever going to write it, but it amuses me.

It's a beautiful day and the cold is somewhat less awful, and I got a lot done, but oh dear not nearly enough (and there was an hour less to do it in).
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
Well, finally.

Goshawk is up, all 13.7K words of it. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] yunitsa and [livejournal.com profile] penwiper26 (now enticed into watching PoI, hurray!) for beta-reading.

I seem to have been at this for a long time; it wasn't the crazy joyride of Sparrow but it was still great fun. Vorkosiverse people who don't know PoI, really you can still read these; they won't spoil anything and they might just suck you in and get you chanting "Oh, Mr. Finch" along with me. One never knows.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
Very unsettled weather today, cloudy and gusty and unseasonably warm, with a cold front coming in. Looks like torrential rain and thunderstorms later (thunderstorms! in January!) but for now it's rather lovely, if you have odd tastes in weather like I do.

The "Sparrow" sequel now appears to be called "Goshawk," with the falconry aspects explicitly implied if not, obviously, explicitly present. Because Simon is totally a yeoman (in several senses, according to my personal fanon).

I'm still mainlining "West Wing," and am still, a few days after watching it, mulling "Posse Comitatus" over in my head and wondering how they stuffed so much into it so gracefully. (Also I have "Hallelujah" earwormed; not so much the song (scroll down) that the post title's from, but just to show you: birds and yeomen, turning up everywhere.) [livejournal.com profile] penwiper26 and I were talking about the Bodyguard Plot and its emotional manipulation - which, yes, but I don't mind being manipulated when it's done so well. And I'd actually forgotten what happened, so none of the gut-punch was lost on rewatch. It doesn't help, of course, that the bodyguard in question is named Simon. Not that Mark Harmon could play Illyan; he's clearly born for the role of Special Agent (see NCIS) and part of the point of Illyan is that he isn't.

Okay, a little time to try to whip this scene into shape and then send what I have to beta, so I can do all the other stuff I have to do before writing the final scene. This is going to be another Exciting Espionage Yarn Set Entirely In People's Offices, but I can't help that now. And the sense of helplessness to intervene is thematically pervasive. I hope.

*flails and then goes back to work*
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
Rewriting the entire last scene from Aral's point of view.

(I am reluctant to lose "a door that was just beginning to seem familiar, a slab of oak with connotations of sweet tea and gray silk and conversation as delicate as keen-edged steel" - but I think it'll work better overall. And I can do the final scene in Simon's POV, because I'd like him seeing Harold this time.)

(This thing is going to hit the 10K mark soon, with a long way still to go. Oh dear oh dear oh deary dear. But at least I'm writing it again.)
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
... you are not helping at all with the slide on timing of vegetable plantings, but thank you for showing up in my story.

"He's very difficult to say no to, you realize."

"Damn it--" Simon took in a quick breath and released it. "You've said no to all sorts of people in your life, my lady. You could manage to turn down an invitation from Harold Finch for supper at a middle-class Greek restaurant."

"You've forgotten to add 'full of terrorists,'" she noted. "Unless your objection is to the nature of the establishment or to Lieutenant Finch as my escort."


Otherwise: drinking sencha, waiting for snow, trying hard to get the cold-sodden brain to focus on the next damn slide. I walked a mile (or so) this morning! And my knee hardly hurts at all!

(This story is at 7200 words with no sign of stopping. Not as glorious an experience as writing the first one, but it may turn out to be worth reading. We'll see.)

June 2016

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