sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
I'm running a White Collar fall fest over at [ profile] collarcorner, basically doing it Fandom Stocking style. People have "treat baskets" and ficcers/writers/etc put treats in them -- screened, to be revealed on Nov. 14. I think I'll leave the treat basket request post open until Halloween, and then close it. So you can still get a basket if you want to! And fill requests! We could really use more people filling requests (although, at this point, everyone has at least one thing in their basket). You don't have to have a basket to fill requests, or vice versa. There's a community for posting anything longer or more complex than a brief commentfic.

Also, it's a gen comm, so all requests and treats must be gen.

... in other news, we now have snow, and I'm sleepy and I don't want to write anything. Blergh.
sholio: Peggy, Jack and Daniel from Agent Carter (Avengers-Agent Carter OT3)
In my July fic prompt call, [personal profile] muccamukk gave me a brilliant (and diabolical) prompt for established Peggy/Jack/Daniel in which one of them loses their memory and forgets everything since early season one. I went with Peggy, and I usually offer to write 100 words when I do these, but I am now 20K into this thing and it just won't quit. Anyway, I've posted a few brief teaser snippets on Tumblr: first snippet, second snippet, third snippet. In case this is relevant to anyone's interests. :D

I've posted a few things on AO3 lately that I forgot to crosspost/link here:

Too Close for Comfort (Agent Carter)
Peggy + Jack gen bed-sharing fic.

Worth a Thousand Words (White Collar)
Short fic from a Tumblr prompt in which Neal has laryngitis.

Riding the Rails (White Collar)
This was a Fandom Stocking AU in which Peter is the con and Neal is the FBI agent, but now there's another little installment with con!Peter on the tracking anklet. (For a prompt by [ profile] lov_pb, I think?)

I also wrote a couple of ficlets for this commentfic meme:

Christmases, Peggy/Jack/Daniel, for the prompt Any poly grouping: okay but WHOSE FAMILY gets [culturally significant family holiday] when?
Ant-Man ficlet for the prompt Scott Lang takes his daughter trick-or-treating

And this one is not mine, just a rec, but I ran across this adorable fanart of my Agent Carter babies a little while back, and right now I have it open in a tab because it makes me happy. (There is so little fanart of them!)
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
... and during the hiatus, I appear to have forgotten how utterly, utterly terrible this show is. I swear watching it is the weirdest mix of cringing because the writing is so, so indefensibly bad, and being completely riveted by the characters.

Spoilers and opinions )
sholio: Snow-covered trees (Winter-snowy trees)
yessss, my Yuletide signup is finished and submitted! I haven't officially participated in several years (though I did write treats last year), but now I'm all excited about getting my assignment.

I also just signed up for the current "winter" round of the tumblr-based Agent Carter Ficathon.

Though I don't know why I keep signing up for things when my to-do list is already as long as it is. HELP HELP, so much to dooooooo. How is it October 9th already?!
sholio: tree-shaped cookie (Christmas cookies)
Thank you so much for writing for me! I am generally very easy to please, and I am equally excited about all of these fandoms, so I'm sure I will love whatever you make for me!

General likes: hurt/comfort, plotty fic, fluffy fic, angst with a happy ending, action, quiet moments of domesticity, gen, banter, competence, cuddling, presumed dead but really alive, characters saving each other.

General dislikes: Crossovers, character death, unhappy endings.

Individual requests under the cut. Fandoms: The Cinder Spires (Jim Butcher), Never Trust a Dead Man (Vivian Vande Velde), Vorkosigan Saga (Lois McMaster Bujold), Benjamin January Mysteries (Barbara Hambly).

Requests )

In conclusion, please don't worry about sticking too close to any of my requests if you have a different idea. I'm requesting these fandoms and these characters because I love them, and my reading tastes are fairly broad as long as it's not just "rocks fall, everyone dies", so if you write a story that speaks to you, I'll probably love it too!
sholio: (Avatar-upbeat attitude)
The Aeronaut's Windlass is the first book in this series and the only one out so far. It's self-contained, or reasonably so -- that is, it doesn't end on a cliffhanger -- but is also obviously setting up the dominos for a longer series.

This is by the same author as Dresden Files. I know some people were turned off by sexism in the early books of that series, but it might still be worth giving this one a try; it has several excellent female protagonists, and no sexism in sight (nothing discernible to me, anyway) aside from the societal kind, due to their society being kinda-sorta Napoleonic-Wars-era in nature.

The cultural worldbuilding is somewhat flat, which is one of my two issues with the book (the other concerned a character I couldn't stand, but that's just a matter of personal taste). It's pseudo-19th-century-fantasy-Europe with airships. It does get somewhat more interesting once we start to get into the political landscape -- people on this world live in tower cities above an inhospitable wilderness, and while the protagonists' tower is pseudo-England, the others aren't. Also, while the series is fairly standard steampunk with airships, ether-based energy weapons, etc., there is a cool twist to the tech, which is kind of a spoiler (more of a premise spoiler than a plot spoiler, and might be an enticement to some), so I'm going to put it under a cut: Mild spoiler )

Anyway, there are two main sets of protagonists: a group of 20-something aspiring soldiers/sky Marines, and an older generation of 40-somethings sharing a tangled and mysterious past, which includes most of my favorite characters, such as a kickass female sky pirate and a swashbuckling swordfighter guy who is in a happy long-term relationship with a woman who is for all intents and purposes his common-law wife. There's a huge ensemble cast with a character for every taste (a young woman struggling to prove herself as a soldier, a fighter-type who belongs to a race of people who are part cat, a ~moody and brooding~ airship captain, likable antagonists, and so forth). This is probably not a good series for people whose tastes run towards deep and complex worldbuilding, but it has tons of swash and buckle, action and adventure and h/c. It's also 600 pages long, so even though there's just one book in the series so far, there is a lot to sink into, and I'm really looking forward to finding out how the various plot and character threads develop in future books.
sholio: Autumn leaves (Autumn-leaves 1)
... okay, seriously, I gotta get on this Yuletide thing, if I'm going to do it this year. Signups close tonight!

One of the things I wanted to do before I get my letter up was post recs for the more obscure books I'm requesting, since it looks like most (all?) of my requests this year are for book fandoms, and hey, if I liked them, maybe you will like them too! And maybe I'll have more people to talk to them about!

Let's start with Never Trust a Dead Man by Vivian Vande Velde. It's recently back in print ... with an absolutely terrible cover. The cover on the older edition was a bit young for the book itself, but at least it was cute and generally fairly accurate to what happens in the book, even if they aged the protagonist down by about 5 years. (The writing style is middle-grade-ish, but the characters are in their late teens.) The new one looks like it should be the cover for a self-published YA vampire romance. Not that there's anything wrong with YA vampire romance, but that's really not what this book is.

This book has been one of my comfort reads for at least a decade or more. It's fast, funny, sweet, has a surprisingly well-crafted mystery given the simplicity of the style, and it never fails to make me happy, despite the book's somewhat dark premise. It's about a young man in a rural, medieval-ish village who is accused of murder, and because they don't know what to do with him -- murder isn't something they have to deal with very often -- the villagers wall him up in an ossuary cave with the dead man's corpse. Luckily for him, he's not the only person in the cave; there's also a witch (sarcastic, hyper-competent, and AWESOME; she's great) who sneaks in every so often to steal bits of corpses for spells.

She agrees to help him, and so the accused murderer and the dead man's ghost team up to solve the murder. Complication #1: they can't stand each other (which is why he was accused of killing the other guy in the first place -- they had a longstanding and very public feud). Complication #2: due to a necromantic spell gone wrong, the (sarcastic, annoyed) ghost came back trapped in the body of a bat. Meanwhile the witch just wants to know what she did to deserve being saddled with these two idiots. Things pretty much go (hilariously) downhill for everyone from there.

I love this book; it's been one of my perennial Yuletide recs for ages. Parts of it still make me laugh, no matter how many times I've read it, and it's a lovely riff on the general theme of misjudging people based on first impressions -- everyone from the dead guy to the witch to the main character's love interest turns out to be more than they appear at first. It's also a short book and a fast read, so it's not that much of a time investment, unlike the fantasy doorstopper I'm about to rec in the next post.


Oct. 6th, 2016 12:58 am
sholio: Berries in the sun (Autumn-berries in sunlight)
Commentfic prompt fest on DW! Leave prompts or fill prompts; all fandoms welcome. Leaving a prompt in one of my fandoms will produce a likelihood, though not a guarantee, of getting a fill. :D (Thanks to [personal profile] recessional for the link.)

I had a table at Senshi-Con this weekend, and then I had family, and then I drove almost 400 miles cumulatively today. Excuse me while I fall over. I am, however, doing Inktober this month, for the first time. My contributions are shared on Facebook here (it's public, so you don't need to have me friended, but you might have to be logged in on FB to see it). Nothing spectacular, just a quick ink sketch per day - and not fannish or Kismet-related; so far it includes things like an otter and a child dressed as a unicorn. I need more drawing practice!

And I also have a glass of blackberry honey wine, which is very tasty and I'm sure will not put me instantly to sleep at all.

ETA: I am on my third glass of wine now, and I'm not asleep; instead I'm posting tons of prompts in most of my different fandoms over at the commentfic prompt fest linked above! *tempts*
sholio: Jack and Peggy from Agent Carter (Avengers-Jack Peggy)
Baby's first gifset.

I finally broke down and paid for a year's subscription to the full version of Photoshop. Ever since I upgraded to a new computer that can't run my old CS2, I've been getting by with Elements, but I'm doing more covers and other pro stuff now that needs the full-featured program. So naturally I'm using it in a responsible, professional kind of way ... to make animated gifs of television characters.

I'm pretty happy with how it came out, although I should have cropped the third one so you can see more of Jack's hand. That one was the first gif in the set that I made, though, and I did a ton of editing to it, so I don't think it bothers me enough to start over from scratch making a new one. (Foolishly, I didn't save any of the intermediate, pre-cropping stages.)

One thing I've noticed making Agent Carter vids, and it's also true of gifs, is that the first season is so desaturated compared to the second season, almost sepia-toned. You have to really lighten and saturate it to get it to match ...
sholio: Peggy, Jack and Daniel from Agent Carter (Avengers-Agent Carter OT3)
A couple of different ficathons/fic exchanges had author reveals recently, so here are two more recent Agent Carter fics by me.

First of all, I wrote this one for a ficathon that just calls itself The Agent Carter Ficathon, for the round 2 prompt, "Reunited." And also for my h/c bingo square "family":

Coming in from the Cold (Peggy/Daniel + Jack, 5000 wds)
It's Christmas 1955, and Peggy and Daniel get an unexpected visitor.

I started writing a different fic for this (an action-type one) but desisted when I realized it was going to be much longer than I could write before the deadline. So this one is really a sort of fluffy prequel to the other, unwritten one that takes place a couple of years later.

And then there's my fic for [ profile] avengersfest:

Mirror, Sword and Shield (Jack/Daniel, teen-rated, 14K words)
After his shooting, struggling physically and emotionally, Jack moves in with Daniel to recover.

This was written for the same person I wrote "Tin Soldiers" for (it's a small fandom, okay XD). It's a slow-burn getting-together fic, rather hurt/comforty as you might expect from the description. Various other characters show up as well.
sholio: Autumn leaf frosted at edges (Autumn-frosted leaf)
I wrote a (short) thing:

Unholy Matrimony (Legends of Tomorrow, 500 wds)
Rip keeps a running tally of how many times each person on the Waverider has managed to get themselves accidentally married and/or betrothed in various time periods. Hey, everyone needs a hobby.

This was written for fanfic_tropes over on Imzy (this week's trope: Arranged Marriage), though like all things Imzy, you can't see it unless you're signed up and logged in.

I'm liking Imzy better now that I've started getting a little more engaged over there. Fanfic_tropes is pretty fun; I'm also enjoying indie_authors, worldbuilding, and legends_of_tomorrow. The latter two aren't very active at the moment, but I expect the LoT comm will get more active when the new season starts. (Like I was saying to [personal profile] muccamukk, my current level of emotional engagement with Legends of Tomorrow is just about perfect for discussing it in a general discussion comm. I enjoy watching it, but I'm not that invested in it, and I am resigned to the fact that it's a fun show but not a particularly good show. As opposed to something like Agent Carter, where I have !!OPINIONS!! and I just know I would be That Jerk who gets into arguments all the time because people are Wrong On The Internet.) I also discovered that an AC author I really like, who has no other social media presence I'm aware of, has a personal blog on Imzy (oh_simone), so I finally have a place to keep up with her current projects.

So, yeah, unsurprisingly, the more you do with it, the more fun it is. I haven't tried creating a community or blog of my own yet; you only get to make two of them in closed beta, and I still haven't come up with an idea that's grabbing me. However, I'm getting used to the Imzy interface (I mean, when it comes right down to it, it's more or less like other commenting interfaces, from Facebook to Disqus to LJ) and it's another entertaining time-sink to sink my free time into.


Sep. 13th, 2016 06:03 pm
sholio: cup of cocoa with a swirl of whipped cream on top (Autumn-cocoa)
Seen various places ... pick a question and leave it in the comments. :)

1. How did you come up with the title to [insert fic]?
2. Any of your stories inspired by personal experience?
3. What character do you identify with most?
4. Is there a song or a playlist to associate with [insert fic]?
5. If you wrote a sequel to [insert fic], what would it be about?
6. Care to share a favorite hurt/comfort fic?
7. Care to share a favorite crack fic?
8. How would you describe your style?
9. Do you have a guilty pleasure in fic (reading or writing)?
10. Write or describe an alternative ending to [insert fic].
11. What's the angstiest idea you've ever come up with?
12. What's the weirdest AU you've ever come up with?
13. Got any premises on the back burner that you'd care to share?
14. Is there a fic you wish someone else would write (or finish) for you?
15. How do you begin a story--with the plot, or the characters?
16. Are you what George R. R. Martin would call an "architect" or a "gardener"? (How much do you plan in advance, versus letting the story unfold as you go?)
17. Do you have any discarded scenes/storylines/projects?
18. Are there any writers (fanfic or otherwise) you consider an influence?
19. Any fandom tropes you can't resist?
20. Any fandom tropes you can't stand?
21. A pairing you might like to write for, but haven't tried yet.
22. A secondary (or underrated) character you want to see more of in fic?
23. Do you like more general prompts, or more specific ones?
24. A character you enjoy making suffer.
25. A character you want to protect.
26. Major character death--do you ever write/read it? Is there a character whose death you can't tolerate?
sholio: Jack and Peggy from Agent Carter (Avengers-Jack Peggy)
Fever (9763 words) by Sholio
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Agent Carter (TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Peggy Carter & Jack Thompson
Characters: Peggy Carter, Jack Thompson
Additional Tags: Hurt/Comfort, Malaria, Between Seasons/Series, Friendship, casefic-ish, other characters appear in minor roles
Summary: The Okinawa incident isn't the only secret Jack brought back from the war. Gratuitously self-indulgent h/c set between seasons.

... I feel as if I should make excuses for this ... but no. I tripped and fell into the hurt/comfort id pit. That is all.
sholio: Halloween candles (Halloween-candles)
The [personal profile] spook_me ficathon is running again! Signup post on LJ / Signup post on DW. This is a low-pressure ficathon in which you pick a creature/monster from their list (or they can send you a random one) and also get two creepy or surreal pictures to go with it as a prompt, and then write a story based on at least one of those three things. I really enjoy this one, and there's no penalty for dropping out. I think I've only finished a story for it the first year and whatever year I wrote Ghost Stories in the Van, but I decided to sign up and have them send me a random creature this year. (Two actually, because I decided to sign up for both Agent Carter and MCU -- you can sign up to write as many stories as you think you can manage. I figured that even if I got a completely unworkable prompt for one of them, the other would probably be okay ...) Signups close on Sept. 17.

Today I saw a regular jet airplane fly over with four fighter jets escorting it, which is not something you see every day. I wonder if it was something serious, or a practice maneuver (with an air force base nearby, we see them practicing a lot).
sholio: Captain America in the rain (Avengers-Steve rain)
I was traveling when the reveals happened on the MCU Rolling Remix, so I never actually ended up linking to the fic I wrote for that. I was one of the first people in the remix chain, and I wrote this way back in April. Each person got a fic to remix, and then had theirs sent down the chain to be remixed by someone else. It was a lot of fun, especially seeing how wildly different the stories ended up. A+, would play again.

Skin in the Game (1930 words) by Sholio
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Avengers (Marvel Movies), Captain America (Movies), Iron Man (Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Sam Wilson (Marvel), James "Rhodey" Rhodes, Tony Stark, Steve Rogers
Additional Tags: Friendship, Team Bonding
Summary: Sam didn't realize Tony's offer to build him a new set of wings was going to come with quite this much baggage, emotional and otherwise.

You can read all the fics in the remix here! Mine was remixed from Between the Wars by MarnaNightingale, and was remixed into Old Dogs and New Tricks by Zippit.
sholio: cup of cocoa with a swirl of whipped cream on top (Autumn-cocoa)
Here's something that looks fun, but will be more fun if more people participate: Letter writing challenge. You get matched to a person and send them a letter (or a postcard, or a letter written in character as a fictional character, or whatever). Signups end on Sept. 1.

In other news, I have so many things to doooooo. Send help.
sholio: Peggy Carter smiling (Avengers-Peggy smile)
And with this, my seventh AC vid, Agent Carter has passed SGA to become my most-vidded fandom. (Though honestly, White Collar probably would have been, if I hadn't been having technical issues during most of the time I was watching it that made vidding prohibitively difficult. I planned a lot of vids in the later seasons that I never actually made.)

Song: Try Everything
Artist: Shakira (from the Zootopia soundtrack)
Fandom: Agent Carter
Summary: Seasons 1 & 2, Peggy + ensemble. I wanna try even though I could fail. They all get knocked down, but they keep getting up again.

Downloads: 87 Mb DivX (zipped) | 125 Mb MP4 (zipped)
(Smaller download options at the Vimeo link.)

Embed and lyrics under the cut.

Embed and lyrics )
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
This is really more a post to mention that I watched Zootopia on the flight home from England, and absolutely adored it. I think it might be my favorite of the various Disney/Pixar/computer-animated movies since Finding Nemo. A buddy-movie about an adult male and female character without a romance in sight, multiple female characters doing stuff and interacting with each other (including some very atypical female characters, like the polar bear drill sergeant, and a main female protagonist who didn't feel stereotyped or sexualized), loads of sight gags and jokes that are genuinely funny (THE DMV OMGGGGG), a plot that hit a lot of unique beats and (to me at least) didn't feel as formulaic as the Pixar-style movies sometimes can ... it was basically just a really fun, distracting movie that hit loads of my character-related happy buttons. Definitely one to be rewatched.

coulda used more h/c though, given the premise

Edit: Movie spoilers in comments!
sholio: Peggy, Jack and Daniel from Agent Carter (Avengers-Agent Carter OT3)
This is post-Civil War, and therefore contains huuuuge spoilers for that movie. But it's SO GOOD:

the lingering remainders by oh_simone (gen, 5500 wds)
In which, a visitor from Tony Stark's past drops by the Avengers compound to drink his top shelf liquor and provide some perspective.

Despite the Civil War time period, this is very much an Agent Carter fic (though equally much a Captain America-Iron Man fic). Back when I first got into the show last year, oh_simone's AC fics were one of my favorite things in the fandom; she writes a fabulous Jack-Peggy-Daniel triad, so I was really hoping she'd come back and write some more after season two. And this does not disappoint in the slightest, tying together the present and past generations of MCU characters with themes of forgiveness, family, and redemption -- all delivered in a light, funny tone that just means it hits all the harder when it turns around and delivers a straight punch to the feels. Oh, my heart.

(This fic does incorporate a small amount of Marvel comics canon -- Flash Thompson, a comics-only character, and his rivalry with Peter Parker -- and those bits make more sense if you're familiar with the comics versions of the characters, but it's a relatively minor aspect of the story. Normally mixing comics with MCU canon is a hard DNW for me, but in this case, it's so adorable and connects to the overall theme of the story so well that I'm delighted to have it.)
sholio: Peggy Carter smiling (Avengers-Peggy smile)
Image under cut. Five squares done! Too bad they're not actually in anything approaching a line.

Bingo card )


sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)

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