sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
Still hip-deep in Guardians of the Galaxy thoughts and feels, which is doing wonders for my productivity this week, let me tell you. /sarcasm

Anyway, a few other things:

Rebel, the next book in [personal profile] rachelmanija and [livejournal.com profile] sartorias's Change series, is out now! I'm linking to Rachel's post because it has useful links to All The Books. This is book 3 in the series, and I'm a book behind, so I can't read it yet! BUT I WANT TO! These are post-apocalypse YA with a large diverse cast, many different types of character relationships, and creative worldbuilding; they're a lot of fun.

There is a multifandom Harlequin Big Bang taking signups now. I was actually kicking around the idea of signing up for this (the minimum is only 5K!), but I am firmly refusing to let myself sign up for anything new until I finish more of the things I'm supposed to be working on ... SSR Confidential, MCU AU Fest, etc. But it does look fun. Wah. My life is hard.

Does anyone know if [community profile] intoabar is happening again this year? I actually have enough different fandoms I'm into right now that I could do it -- the problem in the past has always been that I tend to be a serial fandom monogamist, but I seem to have turned multifannish when I wasn't looking, and I have always kinda wanted to try that one. Just my luck, this will be the year it dies ...
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
New community: [community profile] fanifesto, for fandom manifestos (fandom/ship/character/etc). In case it is relevant to your interests! There's nothing there yet, but it's very new.

I'm torn between the urge to rec some of the things that I'm into, and the awareness that most of the things I'm into are actually not that good, objectively speaking. XD
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
SSR Confidential signups are still open - the signup period ends Saturday evening, March 25. You know you want to! :D So far we've got 18 people (not including me - I haven't gotten mine done yet. BAD MOD) - fic, art, and vids are all accepted. Since I'm running this, just ask me if you have any questions.

ETA: Also, if whichever anon promoted it at ffa is reading this, thank you! <3

FK_ficfest (Forever Knight fic exchange) is currently taking signups as well. This is a really pleasant, small-fandom fic exchange with a great mod.

Another thing currently going on is Muse Fusion at Torn World, a shared-world SFF project. Participants in Muse Fusion leave prompts for writers/artists to make a creative work in the shared world setting.
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
Ah yes, that mildly braindead point in a novel rewrite when I start making incredibly cryptic notes to myself as I try to keep details straight from 50,000 words ago. "Remember to mention the state of his car." Whose car? In which scene? Thanks, self.

Fandom things:

• Nominations for the SSR Confidential tag set close on Sunday. Current tag list here.
• Agent Carter rewatch happening here!

Today is the 20th anniversary of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy was never a watershed show for me -- too old to be its target demographic, I finally started watching it in season six (giving in at last to my younger sister's urging; she'd been watching since the beginning). But I loved it enough to go back and marathon the rest of it, and watched it through to the (bitter?) end, even though it was never really one of "my" shows. Here is an interesting article on Buffy's influence on later TV (discovered via [personal profile] umadoshi) - I'm not sure if I entirely buy the thesis that Buffy did all of these things with commercial success before any other show, but I don't disagree that it was hugely influential on TV that came later, especially on complicated female characters in genre shows, and on the shift from mostly episode-of-the-week TV to mostly serial-arc TV that happened in the late 90s/early 2000s. It seems so weird now to look back on a world where DVDs didn't exist, season-long plot arcs existed only on soap operas, and while actors regularly abandoned TV for movies, respected movie actors almost never turned up on TV, because TV was a cheap, disposable medium where washed-up movie actors went for their careers to finish dying.

(Random side note: I first encountered Sara Michelle Gellar on the soap opera All My Children, which I used to watch obsessively in the early '90s. I was absolutely primed for getting hooked on serialized TV; I've always loved that kind of thing, first in comics and soaps, then in anime, finally in Western prime-time TV when it finally got there.)
sholio: Ana Jarvis (Avengers-Ana)
Chocolate Box is live! I didn't officially participate, but I picked up two pinch hits. See if you can guess which ones.

For Valentine's Day (Friendship Day in Finland), a multi-fandom friendship commentfic fest (art also welcome). Go leave some prompts! ♥ I really would like to write something sweet and simple to get my head out of the gloom spiral it's been stuck in lately, so prompts for Agent Carter, Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, or White Collar might have a pretty good chance of getting something written for them. Just saying.

The Google doodle for Valentine's is A PANGOLIN DATING GAME. (Sort of.) You roll your little pangolin and collect items to bake a cake, sing a song, etc. for your pangolin sweetie. There are also adorable little pangolin courting animations, all involving pangolins of unspecific/neutral gender, because pangolins.

Link!

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: sun on winter trees (Default)
... so I went and signed up for [livejournal.com profile] avengersfest, since Agent Carter is an option. I'm not entirely sure what the state of the fest is right now, because ... there was a notice two days ago that the mod was going to be closing signups? And then signups don't seem to have been closed? So maybe you can still sign up but I'm not sure. (I mean, this isn't meant to be mod-pokery, it's just that I hadn't mentioned this because I didn't think you could still sign up, but it's possible that you might be able to.)

I've mostly managed to talk myself out of signing up for [community profile] genex, a gen relationship exchange. (Signups close July 23.) On the one hand - gen relationship exchange! That is totally my thing! But the dates are really NOT the best considering my current travel plans; it's bad enough I'm going to need to turn in my Avengers Fest assignment by Sept. 10, but Genex fics are due on Sept. 3, which would give me just a couple of weeks to write both of them when I get back in August. Genex also requires at least 3 different fandoms requested and 4 offered, and while I can do it, I'm not sure how enthusiastically I can do it.

(Plus there's my rather conflicted relationship with gen, of late. I feel like it's probably ridiculous to spend too much time fretting over whether writing gen is ethical, or I should say whether writing the kind of smarmy friendship stuff I like to write is ethical ... but I do worry about it, and while I am absolutely not going to beat myself up for writing a little idfic from time to time, I probably don't need to sign up for a ficathon that's going to encourage me to write even more of it.)

Today's my last day at home before I'm gone for a week and a half, then back for a couple of days, then gone again for almost three weeks. I feel as if I should be using my last day at home more usefully, but aside from proofing Kismet book files (AMAZON, PLZ STOP MAKING ME RE-UPLOAD THESE STUPID ENORMOUS FILES XD) I don't really have anything left to do urgently, and I kinda just want to chill online and maybe write another h/c bingo square.
sholio: Peggy, Jack and Daniel from Agent Carter (Avengers-Agent Carter OT3)
MCU AU Fest is open! And the fic that was written for me is wonderful. <3

Traveling Companions (3500 wds, gen or pre-ship, Peggy & Jack & Daniel, modern-day/mundane AU)

Absolutely delightful modern-day AU in which Peggy is a pseudonymous mystery writer who gets into an argument about one of her books with a stranger (Jack) on a train. This is exactly the sort of thing I was hoping for when I left modern-day/mundane AU prompts: the characters are distinctly themselves, but filtered through a different set of experiences, and all kinds of new possibilities are opened up. I love Peggy's relationships in this fic with both Daniel and Jack, similar to canon, and yet different. I think I'm going to be rereading this one a lot.

In other news, [community profile] starwarsflashmeme is still going on (we are now in week 19!) and this week's challenge is Documents and Letters. Come on, you know the Empire's incident reports must have been amazing. (What's the form for "Jedi Master killed, body appears to have vanished"? Whatever it is, it probably has to be filed in triplicate on 12 different planets ...)
sholio: Ana Jarvis (Avengers-Ana)
Today (well, tonight, midnight AK time) is the deadline to turn in SSR Confidential assignments. I am so excited about this. :D We've got fic, art, and vids; we've got gen, F/M, F/F, and M/M. We will have need for at least a couple of pinch hitters, it looks like, but I'm going to wait and announce the open pinch hits at [community profile] ssrconfidential/ [livejournal.com profile] ssrconfidential in the morning, when I have a better idea of what's still missing. The archive will be opened on June 8, give or take a day or two depending on how the pinch hits come in! So far, though, about 2/3 of the assignments have been turned in, and a few people have asked for extensions, so there aren't very many unaccounted for.

Over in White Collar fandom, we're doing something different at [livejournal.com profile] collarcorner this month: a commentfic lightning round. (Art fills also welcome!) Instead of the usual detailed prompts, this month will be for short simple prompts lending themselves to quick fills, and I'm hoping to get a few more people involved. Go take a look if it sounds like your kind of thing! (Quick note for new people: It's a gen prompt community, so prompts and fills should be gen.)

Other stuff: [community profile] fkficfest is taking signups until June 25, and has only one person signed up so far. Info here: http://fandomcalendar.dreamwidth.org/360870.html.

This week's [community profile] starwarsflashmeme prompt is Broken. Also, I finally remembered to put up the social post this week (for a change).

I think that's everything I had ... off to find lunch (or possibly it's more like dinner at this point) ...
sholio: Elizabeth from White Collar, smiling (WhiteCollar-Elizabeth smiling)
There is a post over at CollarCorner on the next few months' themes and activities, including the possibility of a small, low-pressure, gen White Collar fanworks exchange.

Also, the Vacation prompt at [community profile] starwarsflashmeme is extended for another week ('til Saturday) since SOMEONE (me) forgot to post a new prompt this weekend.

I seem to be mostly talking about fan stuff on Tumblr these days, which isn't something I MEANT to happen, but then interesting pieces of meta come along and I reblog them with notes and, well, yeah. My recent tumblr-reblog meta:

- A gifset and meta on how everyone's reactions to the "suicide mission" in 2x10 are little capsule versions of their personalities
- Daniel's moderating influence on Peggy, and Jack as a cynical balance to their shared idealism

I also stumbled across a tumblr-organized Agent Carter ficathon (not an exchange) with the theme Summer Nights. OF COURSE I signed up, because apparently I now have a Pavlovian reaction to anything with "Agent Carter" and some variation on exchange/ficathon/challenge in the name. >__> Luckily it's only 1000 words and it's not for someone else or anonymous (at least I don't think so), so I can write whatever I want. And just recently I had been wondering if anyone used the word "ficathon" anymore. It's actually very old-school, even though it's on Tumblr! There is a fairly distinctive current style to most fanworks events (run through AO3 exchange-style, anonymous period, fic & art both allowed, etc); either that, or everything is bingo cards. And although I enjoy both of those, it's nice to run across one that's set up differently.

I'd been thinking lately that Agent Carter fandom feels very scattered, compared to LJ-based fandoms; it's harder to find out about the events that are going on, or find all the places where people hang out. But actually, thinking about it and reflecting on past fandoms of mine, I don't think that's true. I think it FELT less scattered when fandom was mostly on LJ if you could manage to get hooked into the "where things were happening" places and get to know people who tended to post about events going on around the fandom. But not everyone was able to do that, and not all fandoms had that, and even so, they tended to localize into little pockets of activity centered around a particular ship or shared interest. Like, when I first got into SGA fandom on LJ, it was the gen everyone-who-met-on-ff.net crowd that I was hanging around with, and while I had a vague idea that things were happening elsewhere in the fandom, I really had no clue about either the het or slash parts of the fandom; aside from a few nexuses like sga_flashfic or the Big Bangs, which involved people from all corners of the fandom, there just wasn't THAT much overlap. Or A:tLA fandom, where the corner of the fandom that I got to know was a small and fairly well-connected one on DW, but I had the vague sense that there was a LOT going on elsewhere, it just wasn't here.

The existence of comms and newsletters did help centralize things, or at least made it easier not to miss events until after they happened. Newsletters don't seem to have made the jump to tumblr and I kinda hope someone will reinvent them someday, though I am certainly not going to be the sucker who has to comb through all the tags to find things. Or maybe they won't; maybe tumblr tags and the fact that most fanfic ends up on AO3 means that newsletters aren't necessary as they once were, just like people don't tend to have dedicated rec sites or directory sites anymore.
sholio: Peggy, Jack and Daniel from Agent Carter (Avengers-Agent Carter OT3)
Apparently I am now contemplating a signup for [livejournal.com profile] mcu_aufest. So many AU possibilities! So fun! And all my Agent Carter ships are in the tag set. (Okay, I nominated some of them, but some were nominated by people other than me.) Do want.

I should probably get to work on the other fests I'm signed up for first, however. AUGH. I know what I'm writing for [community profile] marvelismarvel; I just need to ... actually write it ...

(Does anyone notice that you never heard the term "ficathon" anymore? I think it's fallen out of favor completely. It's all "fest" and "exchange" now ...)

I was also talking to my sister about Civil War tonight. Or, more like the other way around.

Sister: So you still haven't watched the trailer yet.
Me: No.
Sister: And you're somehow miraculously unspoiled.
Me: Miraculously, yes.
Sister: BUT I WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT THE TRAILER.
Me: NO.

I realize the odds of me making it through another three weeks unspoiled are slim, especially once it premieres in European markets. She suggested I avoid social media. hahahaaaaaaaa AS IF.

ETA: Also, I am having a good month on the writing front, so I decided to treat myself and bought more icon slots on both LJ and DW. Because 100 icons is not enough. I am a sad and pathetic human being. (I can't BELIEVE Tumblr limits you to only one icon. They are clearly missing the mark on gratuitous self-expression.)

Links

Feb. 25th, 2016 03:31 pm
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
Marvel Rolling Remix is a new thing I just signed up for! Basically, it's a remix "chain", where the first person gets someone's fic to remix, and the next person gets that fic, and so forth -- like a fanfic game of Telephone. No one gets to read all the fics 'til they're revealed at the end. Here are the full rules. You need to be familiar with the core MCU movies (the Avengers-related ones) and willing to write any characters, although it's possible to remix a fic as gen if you get a pairing you can't write.

If you're watching Agent Carter, did you know there is an audio commentary podcast? They interview the episode's writers each week, and you can watch along with the episode as the commentary goes along. It has its ups and downs and dull bits, like any DVD commentary, but there's some fun extra stuff about what the writers were thinking in certain places. (They don't have eps 8 & 9 up yet, to my sorrow.)

LJ-versary

Nov. 6th, 2015 11:00 am
sholio: heart in a cup of tea (Heart)
Just a run-by post before heading out the door -- I am doing two back-to-back craft/pop culture shows with [livejournal.com profile] ellenmillion today through Sunday (SO MUCH ORNAMENT PAINTING) -- but I realized that today is my 10-year Livejournal anniversary!

I got this journal on Nov. 6, 2005. When I first noticed last summer that this was going to be the 10th year, I meant to do something special for it. Then I got busy, and busier, and spent most of October being ill, and all of a sudden it's the 6th and ... I have to be staffing a table in a couple of hours. >_>

But still, I figured I needed to pop in and say a little something about it. This wasn't the first Livejournal I got; the other, my real-name journal, was the one I considered my main one for a long time. This one was just for posting fanfic. But over the years I realized that nearly everyone I actually wanted to talk to was here -- all I did with the other one anyway was post Alaska photos and project updates, which I am now doing here -- and the handful of people from the other journal that I wanted to stay in touch with (and didn't think would look down on me for my fan activities) I told about this one, so I really only update the other a couple times a year, and there's nothing I post there that I don't post here.

The reason why I got this journal in 2005 was because I was starting to do fandom stuff again, after a dry spell. I wrote a TON of anime fanfic in the early 2000s, then got out of it in the 2003/2004 time frame. I moved to a new city, I was starting a new job and buying a house, I was super busy ALL the time, and I'd also managed to convince myself that in order to be a ~serious writer~, I needed to knock off this fanfic crap. (Pretty much ALL the pro writers I knew at the time believed that; I didn't know anybody who openly did both.) Then, with the original-writing thing going nowhere, I started falling back into it, a little bit at a time, and I got this journal just to have a place to put that kind of thing if there turned out to be anything to post. This journal was called "friendshipper" then, and my very first post here was basically "I have no idea what I'm going to do with this journal". (And sounds so ridiculously young to me now; omg, self.) I think the only fandom person I knew who was on LJ then was [livejournal.com profile] xparrot, having met her via ff.net.

.... aaaaand then I got back into Stargate (an old love, that I fell away from for several years), and got bit by the fanfic bug again in 2006. In retrospect I'm glad I fell into a big fandom right away, because it meant my journal started getting active pretty quickly -- people friended me, and I friended them, and I started learning proper LJ social etiquette and talking to people a lot. And over the next few years this journal became my main online hangout and social hub. Many, if not most, of my closest friends now are friends I made through LJ -- and DW, which I'm really not considering a separate thing here, since it was a social offshoot of LJ in the first place, and my flist/circle were almost 100% the same people in the beginning. (It's since differentiated quite a bit.) It hasn't all been roses, and there have been ups and downs, but I have had SO MUCH FUN here, and I know I wouldn't be the same person today without it. I wouldn't have met most of the people I cherish now, or have had a lot of the opportunities I've had.

So thank you for being here, and most especially for STILL being here, even as the fandom/blogging/social media world is shuffling off to Tumblr and Twitter and Facebook and even weirder places. I am in all of those places too, but LJ/DW is still where my hat is hung. I'm very glad you're all still here to talk to. ♥
sholio: Peggy Carter (Avengers-Peggy in cafe)
I posted a piece of Agent Carter fanart on Tumblr. Just some head studies of Peggy from the first episode, really. I want to start doing more fanart again ...

Also here's me historygeeking about Peggy's mention of working at Bletchley Park during the war (or, more accurately, complaining about it, since NO ONE who worked at Bletchley Park talked about it until the 1970s at least. (Also, aargh, while it doesn't matter on the dashboard, I need to find a Tumblr theme that doesn't eat my paragraph breaks. Bleh. In the meantime, if you didn't know, you can always get rid of eyebleeding formatting on Tumblr by appending "/mobile" to the URL, so here is the mobile version of that link.)

Although I haven't done much for it (yet?), I am really intrigued by how much better the current commentfic round at Collar Corner is making me feel about White Collar. Not that I've precisely gotten over the things that turned me off the show in the first place, but the play and joy and just fun of the comment prompts is reminding me how much fun it used to be to feel that way about that show. I've also realized that I'm being a trifle inconsistent, since with Agent Carter, I'm ... er, I'm not sure if I'd go so far as to say I'm ignoring certain aspects of Agent Carter canon, but I'm certainly doing a bit of gleeful creative revision of, say, little problems like the fact that the characters I most enjoy writing about actually kind of hate each other in canon. Whereas with White Collar I've latched onto the worst possible interpretation of the finale and run with it. And that's really kind of silly.

I'm also seriously thinking about signing up for [community profile] nightonficmountain, a small fandoms summer fic exchange (sort of like Yuletide but not in the winter). Agent Carter is eligible, and I think there are enough other fandoms I'm into that I could put together a signup slate. Anyway, I'm tempted.

I haven't abandoned the idea of an Agent Carter fic and/or general fanworks exchange, by the way. :D I've just been busy with other things. And it looks like no one else is doing one yet. Any ideas what to call it? I was originally thinking something like "Agent Carter Spring Fling", for that 1940s era feeling, but it's kind of ... not going to be spring anymore soon. Summer Social?
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
I watched the first two (and a half) episodes of Agent Carter with [livejournal.com profile] ellenmillion today, and this time around, I couldn't help noticing how much the show's overall vibe reminds me of Fringe. If you liked Fringe, you might like this one, maybe?

Some misc. fandom links I've had piling up:

1. [livejournal.com profile] collarcorner (White Collar gen promptfic comm) hasn't had a new round since last year, and after someone expressed interest in keeping it going, I put up a poll and discussion about whether there is enough interest for another round, and if so, how we should do it. (Second discussion post here.) Feel free to weigh in, if White Collar is something you're still interested in!

2. On the topic of White Collar, awhile back, [personal profile] aqwt101 made a series of posts based on conversations with a psychologist friend about the WC characters. Her journal is mostly locked, but I asked if she minded unlocking them so I could link to them, and she said it was fine, so they are here: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3. (ETA: Missed Part 3 the first time; added it now!)

3. Meanwhile in other fandoms, cutting this one for very mild Agent Carter spoilers, since Ellen is watching it )

4. I can't believe I'm considering this -- it's been several years since I did anything of this sort -- but I am thinking about running an Agent Carter fanworks exchange. There doesn't seem to be one yet! Thoughts?
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
Is there a generally agreed-upon spelling for Iceberg's name? I notice AO3 has him "Iceburg" -- is that how it's normally romanized?

Not that I need to know for ... reasons or anything.

(We finished Water 7/Enies Lobby last night, up through episode 324, and HOLY MOLY. *____* Also, I really want to know why there is basically no fic on AO3 for Iceberg and Franky. .... well, okay, I know why, because Iceberg is a relatively minor character from a story arc in the mid-2000s, but I WANT IT ANYWAY. Most of the One Piece fic is hiding over on ff.net, isn't it?)
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
I ran across this question on Tumblr, but decided to answer it here rather than there, because of Tumblr's lack of interactivity/commenting, and I wanted to open it up for discussion.

If you write fanfic, do you try to make sure your characterization on points that aren’t defined in canon remain consistent from story to story, even if they aren’t in the same continuity? Or do you try different things out in different stories? (I don’t mean natural evolution of how you see a character, but consciously trying out different possibilities. To take a frivolous example, does Joe Character, who we never see drinking coffee in canon, always take his coffee the same way in all your stories?)

I think for me, it kind of depends.

Long answer under the cut )
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
You know, when you really can't make a drawing come out right, flipping it and drawing it upside down is incredibly helpful, at least if you're drawing from a reference (in this case, a photo of a shoe from an awkward angle). It forces you to stop drawing what you "know" is true and just look at the lines and angles. (In other news, WHY ARE FEET.)

Playful speculation about Age of Ultron aside, I have absolutely no idea how I am going to manage to stay unspoiled between now and May 1 2015. NOT A FREAKING CLUE. I only managed to be as unspoiled as I was for the recent crop of Marvel movies because I was a) mostly interested in the Iron Man parts of the franchise, and b) not on tumblr all that much (and even so, I did get a couple of pretty major spoilers for Thor 2; it's nothing short of a miracle that I didn't know anything about Cap2 going into it, but I think that's actually one reason why I enjoyed it so much). Now that I'm following a bunch of Avengers-related blogs on Tumblr, there is NO HOPE, especially since movie trailers come out so long before the actual movies. (It wouldn't surprise me if there's an Avengers 2 trailer associated with Guardians of the Galaxy. Which I'm really looking forward to, by the way. Yes, I know it's going to be ridiculous. Hopefully it will be the good kind of ridiculous.)

Despite watching nearly every superhero movie that's come out since the very first X-Men movie (EXCEPT FOR WOLVERINE, LET'S NOT EVEN GO THERE) I haven't seen either of the new Spider-Man movies yet, and I'm weirdly reluctant. I guess it still feels too soon for a reboot to me.

ETA: Fan video - Inception/Captain America AU with Steve and Bucky. AAAAUGH. (The only thing that annoys me about this is that you can't turn off the subtitles. Why not?!)
sholio: Hand outlines on a cave wall (Cave painting-Hands)
I ran across a sad post on tumblr today bemoaning how much harder it is to be a fanfic writer than a fanartist, because fanfic writers get so much less feedback and respect - everyone reblogs fanart, hardly anyone reblogs fic ...

/cries because I am OLD

Speaking of being old, it's absolutely fascinating to me to be drawing enough lately to become aware how much my drawing skills have atrophied over the last few years. It's not that I can't draw at all, it's just that it's a lot harder than it ought to be. There's a much bigger gulf between what I see in my head and what comes out of the pencil. Anatomy is hard in particular; the graceful drawings in my head, with their sense of chunkiness and mass, come out stilted, awkward and flat. I think that the drawing I did the other day of the Avengers characters + sunbeam is the closest that I've come in ages to getting my head-picture to match up with what my hands were capable of, and even there, the perspective is off ...

But I guess it makes sense when I think about how much I used to draw. From my teenage years up to late 20s, I was always drawing. I filled up sketchbooks while I was in college; I drew on scraps of paper, post-it notes at work, the edges of envelopes. I copied other people's art, drew my own characters, did fanart, basically just drew and drew and drew.

I don't remember when that obsessive level of drawing stopped, or why. I think it had something to do with moving back to Alaska in 2004 and not really being around other (comic) artists much -- not in the way I had been, where I was going to conventions regularly and sketching with other people on a semi-regular basis. I think that was also about the time I started writing A LOT, and while I've always done both, it seems that activating my prose-brain to that extent went partway toward shutting off my drawing-brain.

.... anyway, it's been probably 7 or 8 years since I've drawn a lot, and probably 4 or 5 years since I've drawn more than every once in a while. For a long time, I really didn't WANT to draw. Being back into comics seems to have gotten me drawing on a more regular basis, and I'm trying to keep a sketchbook -- I've never really done sketchbooks since college (and mostly then, it was only because I had to for a lot of my art classes, so I got in the habit and/or ended up with class sketchbooks that were half full, so I needed to fill them). I am DROWNING in sketchbooks because of people either giving them to me, or buying them and putting 3 drawings in them and then not filling it. (Is this something that other people do? Do most artists have dozens of blank or partly-used sketchbooks hanging around on their shelves?)

I want to try to start drawing every day again, even if it's only something small. It feels like reconnecting with a part of myself that I've been out of touch with for a while. I'd almost forgotten what it felt like to really enjoy making art for its own sake, not just as a means to an end.
sholio: Ice-covered berries (Winter-icy berries)
Yesterday I went for a long walk on the creek in the spring sunshine. (The fact that you can still walk easily and safely on the creek ice is one of the many symptoms that we're stuck in Narnia this year: always winter, never Christmas!) Along the way I heard a birdsong I've never heard before, which made me pause to try to figure out what was making it -- I'm always interested in seeing something new. And it was a really odd song, a cheerful twitter that would occasionally shift to a low raspy tone. Eventually I located the culprit, a northern shrike perched in the top of an aspen on the bank. (Here is a singing shrike - it shifts to the raspy note at about 0:39.) I was ridiculously excited about this, since I knew that shrikes are all over Alaska but I'm not sure if I've ever actually seen one, and definitely not here.

So I had to share this exciting discovery when I got home.

Me: I saw a shrike today!
Husband: What's a shrike?

I was prepared for this, so I launched into an explanation.

Me: It's a small predatory bird, about the size of a jay -- here, I can get the birdbook and show you a picture --
Him: Could you be a little less specific? Okay, it's a bird. Got it.

Undaunted, I showed him the picture in the book.

Him: Okay, so it's a gray bird.
Me: ... yes, it's a gray bird.

He finds my fascination with plants and animals completely baffling, because to him there are few things less interesting than identifying songbirds by sound or figuring out the finer points of distinction between willows and alders. (But it's fun!)

On a completely different subject, I cannot get over how strange and wrong it feels to reblog uncut spoiler posts about the new Iron Man movie on Tumblr. I know it's how things work over there and people filter things via tags, but it feels like the worst kind of fannish etiquette failure to me. (If you want to follow me there, my tumblr is icefallstudio. The original idea when I created it a year or so ago was that I'd post my art there, but that hasn't really happened - although it may eventually! - so at the moment I'm just using it for reblogging IM3 squeeflail.)

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Sholio

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