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)
The most useful post I've seen so far with info on the Orlando shooting and places to donate/ways to help.

Also, I’ve seen a few scam warnings floating around on here and twitter about fundraisers that are not actually scams -- it’s the warnings themselves that are fraudulent. Always be sensible and check out the credentials before donating to any fundraiser. For organized fundraisers like these ones, it’s best to:
  • Make sure the Gofundme page states which organization put it together and contains a link to the organization’s website.
  • Click through to the website and make sure it looks like a legit organization and links back to the Gofundme.

Be smart! But both of the big fundraisers I’ve seen circulating (one set up by The Center Orlando, the other by Equality Florida) are legit to the best of my knowledge.
sholio: Peggy Carter smiling (Avengers-Peggy smile)
• We bought a loveseat today! And it's great. I'm sitting on it right now. It was on sale and matched the two recliners we already own (well, close enough), so now we have comfy places for more than two people to sit. (Often a problem in a two-introvert household. You're good until guests show up, but then what?!) We haven't owned anything couchlike in a really long time, so this is very nice.

This Manhattan brownstone with an indoor swimming pool made me think of Neal.

• I made a Peggy-related post on Tumblr that contains Civil War spoilers and apparently I was the first person to do this particular thing, so consequently it already has over 700 notes, which is rather boggling considering that I think a post is doing really, really well if it gets around 100 notes during its lifetime.

• I cleaned all most some of the things today. My in-laws are coming tomorrow and I had a whole month to get the house in shape, but did I?? No, of course not. However, I have most of the stuff on my priority-cleaning list done (bathroom, kitchen, etc); I just need to clean off the table, which seems to have become a junk-mail-storage depot, and do a few other lower-priority things like giving the refrigerator a good scrubbing (should probably be done; but doesn't absolutely have to be done) and it'll be good. They're flying in tomorrow evening, so there's still ample time for last-minute cleaning.
sholio: Peggy Carter smiling (Avengers-Peggy smile)

Someone is giving away a free haunted bed on Craigslist. This is the best thing I've seen all day.

And I'm stashing it under my "ideas" tag because this has GOT to be useful in a story someday.
sholio: Jack and Peggy from Agent Carter (Avengers-Jack Peggy)
Somehow on tumblr I ended up writing some bits of an Agent Carter YA paranormal romance AU. (I'm linking to one of the reblogs instead of the original because the reblog notes are GOLDEN. I also love this reblog speculating on werewolves with three legs. Please tell me I have many things to write and I do not need to write an Agent Carter high school paranormal AU.

My Agent Carter season one rewatch stalled out after two episodes because I've been too busy to watch TV. If you judged me based on the general content of this blog, you might think I never do anything but watch TV, but in actual fact I watch very little. It seems to go in cycles; I'll get hooked on something and watch a bunch of it, then lose interest and won't watch anything for a month. The last couple of weeks, I've been in a "not watching anything" phase. However, I've now gotten the next Lauren novel off to beta, and cleared a bunch of other "to do" stuff off my plate (WHY ARE TAXES), and I'm looking forward to spending the next couple of weeks in a more leisurely mode: catching up on stuff, spring cleaning, working on my Kismet page buffer, rewatching more Agent Carter, and so forth. But most importantly, not being under a huge brain-consuming deadline.

Other things I have neglected to mention lately: [ profile] ellenmillion has a Kickstarter you should check out - (More!) Fantasy Coloring Books for (so-called) Grown-ups. I did the editing on the video, featuring Ellen's acting talents. I am especially proud of the 1960s-Batman-inspired special effects and the cheesy logo morph at the end.

Finally, I give you a very Alaskan photo. (Link goes to Facebook; I don't think you have to be logged in to see it.)

ETA: Picture of migrating trumpeter swans that I took this afternoon at our local wildlife refuge and posted to Tumblr. We are having record numbers of them this year. It's the first time I've been out there this spring and I think I missed Peak Swan, but there were still a lot of them, mostly traveling in pairs.
sholio: (Whine)
NOTE: backdating this entry from May 8 to April 8 to make it drop off reading lists without having to make it private and therefore stop the existing discussions; I just don't want to start new ones right now. I'll fix the date a little later.

Spoilers for Civil War under the cut - I just learned that some LJ styles no longer show the cut text on the friends page. Sorry!!

Mildly spoilery for Civil War; also gloomy and kind of long )
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
Decided to make a separate post for this, rather than lumping it into the other links post, because I found it really interesting and wanted to talk a little more about it: this post by Ilona Andrews on the "alphahole" trope in romance (i.e. alpha jerk heroes). It is, I believe, inspired by this post at Book Smugglers on "why alphaholes are terrible", but the Andrews post is 1000% more interesting to me because it talks about what's appealing about the trope, and why people like it.

What I particularly liked about the Andrews post is this part:

The modern definition of alphahole has evolved, but it does retain some of its primary characteristics. Modern alphahole is generally aware he isn’t a good guy. He is, before all else, competent. He excels at his chosen profession, whether it is making billions, being a Duke, or running a ragtag crew of immortal werewolves trying to guard the world from horrible evil. By extension, alphahole is often rich, because he manages his money well. Alphahole delivers. If he invites you to dinner, you can bet your life that he has made a reservation; if your car breaks down, he will either fix it himself (points for additional competence) or make a mechanic appear nearly instantly out of thin air; if a monster is demolishing downtown, alphahole will run toward it; and if a sick child requires rare medicine that isn’t available at any pharmacy nearby, alphahole will find it. Alphahole has no chill and takes no crap.

... which was food for thought for me, because I think it nailed why I tend to like characters with alpha traits, as long as they have some basic decency to go along with it. I don't usually like characters who are irredeemable bastards and have no decency or niceness to them -- I like the ones who tend to do the decent thing, most of the time, even if they won't admit that they want to -- and the amount of assholishness I can tolerate is often in direct proportion to the narrative's willingness to acknowledge that the character is an asshole and deal with that. And there are many characters I adore who are basically just nice. But I have a huuuuge competence kink, and competent and assertive snarky jerks are definitely a type I go for.

Key emphasis on the competent, though. Just a jerk? No. Snarky jerk who's really good at what s/he does? Yes please. (Not specifically as a male-character thing, but there are a lot fewer female than male characters who really nail the specific elements that get me -- the Luideag in Seanan McGuire's October Daye books is a good example of one who does, or SL Huang's Cas Russell.)

Actually, "competent and smart" might be the one big, overriding thing that makes me fall for a character. It's not just competent jerks; I also adore the ones who are super competent but are so quiet about it that nobody tends to notice until they're backed against a wall, or the ones who are competent but play the fool so no one realizes until Sudden Surprise Competence happens.



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.)
sholio: Rey and BB8 from Star Wars (Star Wars)
I made a thing!

[community profile] starwarsflashmeme is a new flashfic community based on [community profile] mcuflashmeme (which is also new; you should check it out!). Invented by [personal profile] dira, flashmemes are a blend of kinkmemes and old-style flashfic communities -- each week there will be a new prompt, and everyone has a week to post commentfic of any length in the comments to the entry, in response to the prompt. Your fic can also be posted on tumblr, AO3, etc, and linked from the comments. Art fills, or other media, are also great.

The first week's prompt is Strange New World.

Come! Write! Enjoy! :D!

And feel free to link to it and spread the word.
sholio: Christmas ornaments (Christmas ornament)
Posting at least as much for my own benefit as for others ... but I wanted more Christmas icons than the ones I had, so I went on a hunt, and found some absolutely beautiful ones linked from [ profile] christmasicons.

Ornaments in different colors
Ornaments, cookies, miscellaneous

And I want to be able to find them again if I want more. It's getting harder to find icons than it used to be.

I really need to get some decorations up around here ...

ETA: [ profile] leesa_perrie has some Christmas icons too, if anyone is interested! Links to more in the comments.
sholio: Autumn leaves (Autumn-leaves 1)
[ profile] slhuang's latest novel, Root of Unity, came out at the end of September - I was traveling and neglected to post about it then! I've enthused about this series before; it's fast-paced and fun and unusual (a little bit urban fantasy, but with highly advanced math in lieu of magic) and now, in the third book, is starting to delve deeper into the character relationships and the mysteries of Cas's past. I think it's my favorite of the books so far, though I also feel like it stands on its own somewhat less than the other two did -- you can read it as a stand-alone, but really you need the emotional setup from the first two books to get the full effect from this one.

There's also a short story, Ladies' Day Out, which bridges books 2 and 3.

[ profile] ellenmillion has a new Kickstarter for a nifty new service: Monthly coloring book subscriptions. You can choose between 6-month or year-long subscriptions, and digital or print books. (The video for the Kickstarter was done by me, under Ellen's art direction.)

Ellen and I are also doing a coloring book together, which will debut locally at the UWA bazaar in November, and which I am super excited about! \o/ I get to see proofs tomorrow! We've been working on the art since July, and I think it's going to be very pretty. Here's a sneak preview of the cover, laid out beautifully by Ellen using one of my art pieces from the book:

alaska wildflowers cover
sholio: Autumn leaf frosted at edges (Autumn-frosted leaf)
This article in the Alaska Dispatch News on Attu Island (site of the only WWII fighting on American soil) is worth it for the slideshow of the island's fascinating post-apocalyptic wilderness. Well, I guess some people's "fascinating post-apocalyptic" is someone else's "appalling environmental horrors", but I thought it was interesting to see what 70 years of Aleutian weather looks like on buildings, fuel tanks, and other war debris, with its own kind of weird, terrible beauty.

In other Alaska-related linkage, I recently fell down the nostalgia pit at this site: Growing up in Anchorage. A lot of the posts on the site are before my time, since I was born in the '70s, but the part of the site that really sent me down the nostalgia hole was the memories of the owner/founder of Chilkoot Charlie's, a notorious bar in a notorious part of Anchorage where I lived, at various times, off and on through the '80s and early '90s.

My childhood was largely spent in Bush Alaska in a cabin off the road system, but my parents were separated and my dad lived in Anchorage, invariably in the worst parts of Anchorage since he could never afford rent and was perpetually getting evicted from various apartments and trailers; so I spent quite a bit of time there, especially after I started having chronic health problems when I was around 8 or 9 and therefore needed to be in town a lot. A number of those apartments were in Spenard, an Anchorage neighborhood which had cheap rent because it was, well, terrible.

... or at least very unique. It's gentrified somewhat over the last couple of decades, but when I was there, it was full of low-rent motels, biker bars, strip clubs, and X-rated bookstores, as well as a lot of strip malls with more normal sorts of business, such as Anchorage's only comic store (a favorite haunt of mine as a kid) and Blaine's, the local art supply store. At one time we lived just a couple of blocks from Chilkoot Charlie's, just behind its famous windmill. The comic store was across the street and I used to walk past the bar to get there.

A few select posts from the Chilkoot Charlie's guy: trying not to get murdered by bikers (the bit about the guy with the shotgun on the roof, good lord); Anchorage's second gay bar (burned down by the owner of Anchorage's first gay bar); a somewhat less censored version of the windmill story linked at the ADN site above (and now I know why there used to be a two-headed pig on the old Chilkoot Charlie's sign; somehow people never seem to talk about these things with 10-year-olds).

... Anchorage in the '80s, man. I think it was just in the last few years that I realized how different the '80s were in Alaska than everywhere else in the country. The 1980s in most of the U.S.: hair bands, bubblegum pop, and multicolored leg warmers. The 1980s in Alaska: recession, concrete architecture, unemployment, and strippers.
sholio: Autumn leaf frosted at edges (Autumn-frosted leaf)
We had lots of wind today, so there were huge showers of golden leaves. The ground is carpeted with them:


In honor of the season, I decided to pick up a bottle of pumpkin ale (Southern Tier PumpKing). My thought so far is "... huh." It's not quite pumpkin-pie-in-a-glass like the one I sampled in Boston around this time last year, but there's a very odd mismatch between the smell and the taste that I don't quite know how to feel about. I think at some point I may have to admit that I just don't really like beer with fruit and/or spices in it. And yet I keep trying them.

Links! For anyone who wants to find more people to talk to on LJ and/or DW:

Friending Meme for LJ Survivors (LJ)
The No-Frills Multi-Fandom Friending Meme

FYI, the LJ one is more general (so if you are looking for non-fandom people to follow who post pictures or write about farming or whatever, it's better for that) whereas the DW one seems to be more fandom-focused.

(Thanks to [personal profile] naye for linking to them!)
sholio: Berries in the sun (Autumn-berries in sunlight)
Just FYI, I will be incommunicado for a big chunk of June. As those of you who've followed me for awhile know, I grew up in remote Alaska off the grid -- like, the sort of off-the-grid that, to get there, you have to charter a float plane and fly over swamps and rivers for awhile, because the roads don't go out that far. Needless to say, there is also no Internet. I'm heading out to the cabin to see my folks this weekend and will be out there for a week or two, and when I get back I'll have houseguests 'til almost the end of June. So my online time will be nonexistent for a little while, and limited thereafter.

Consequently, I've spent the last week in frantic "do ALL the Kismet" mode. I got a 3-page update done for this week, and I now have pages inked, scanned, and lettered through the end of August. Not colored yet, but ... eh. That's pretty easy to fit in around other stuff. I plan to spend my last few days at home kicking back, working in the garden, and basically just playing.

As usual, I am way behind on answering comments and unlikely to get any less behind. Just assume that if I ignore your comment, it's not that I'm ignoring you, or that I hate you or anything. I'm just busy.

Some upcoming fan things:

- [community profile] fkficfest/[ profile] fkficfest (annual Forever Knight ficathon) is taking signups. This is a fun, well-modded fic exchange; I really enjoyed it the year I did it.
- There's a new commentfic prompting post at [ profile] collarcorner. This month's theme is "Off Duty".

I was just reading this article about the FBI conducting semi-illicit surveillance with small planes and thinking there has to be a White Collar fic in there somewhere.

I also posted a couple pictures of the winter's lingering ice on tumblr, and a more extensive set on Facebook.

(BTW, I don't mind if people who know me from LJ/DW friend me on Facebook, but you gotta tell me who you are! Most of my posts are public anyway, and I tend to ignore friend requests if I can't figure out where the person knows me from. I've gotten a few mystery requests lately, so I figured I'd mention that. Also, if you friend me on Facebook only to hammer me with chat requests and/or game invites, you may expect to be unfriended shortly, or at the very least ignored. Facebook is, mostly, where I talk to my family, do professional networking, and occasionally post pictures of my life. It's not my social hub, and I don't do a lot of casual socializing there.)
sholio: webcomic word balloon (Kismet-Frank threat)
Today I have an interview at my realname journal with Melissa Jensen, aka [ profile] kriadydragon, on her middle-grade fantasy novel The Toymaker, in which a young girl in search of her parents and an eccentric inventor on a quest for his family's legacy embark on a journey across their world. Melissa's clever, inventive worldbuilding is one of the things I like most about her fanfic, and it carries over into her original fiction too. Click on the link to find out more! Thank you for letting me interview you, [ profile] kriadydragon. :)

Meanwhile, it's Monday so that means a new Kismet page. I now have RSS feeds for the comic on both LJ ([ profile] suncutter_feed) and DW ([syndicated profile] suncutter_feed). They've both been running for a couple of weeks and seem to work great. I'm just putting up the links on the RSS, not the whole page, so it won't spam your reading page terribly.

This photo I posted on Twitter this morning indicates my feelings on current weather trends. (Funny story there. The dragonfly thermometer in the photo has actually been sitting in the garage for ages; I didn't really want to put it outside in the winter because it only goes down to -40 and I was afraid it would break if it got colder than that. But it's been a very warm winter, so I put it outside about a week ago and LOOK WHAT HAPPENED.)
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
I have an interview with [profile] sl_huang at my other blog today, talking about her new suspense/sci-fi thriller Half Life (which is excellent, btw).

As it's Monday, there's also a new Kismet page.

And now, back to novel edits, whee.
sholio: slice of pie with ice cream and apples (Autumn-apple pie)
I have the house to myself tonight and some uninterrupted Internet time, so I am getting through the rest of the DVD commentaries and answering comments (STILL SO BEHIND) and generally hanging out online; hello!

My sister and I have managed to watch an absolute fuck ton of One Piece over the last 2-3 days. We got through the entire Water 7 arc and are now into Enies Lobby. Kinda spoilery comments on a couple characters )

Assorted links from around my flist:

There's an interesting post at [personal profile] selenak's journal about the fannish term "manpain", like "Mary Sue", coming to be used so generically that it's useless. (Also, I suppose it's a sign of how much time I've been spending on Tumblr lately that my instinctive reaction to finding a thoughtful post was first of all "reblog it so my friends can read it!" No no, self, we have a way of handling these things on LJ, WE LINK TO STUFF.)

I also jumped into a discussion at [personal profile] chordatesrock on dark hurt/comfort and how fandom deals with trauma. Interesting topic and it made me ponder a bit.

There's also a link in the above post to this absolutely amazing comic strip that has a beautiful metaphor for the true worth of creativity that others deem worthless.

Oh hmmm, what else. It looks like both [community profile] festivids and [ profile] yuletide are taking signups now. I'm not doing either one of them this year (though I may try to do a festivids treat; I really do want to get back into vidding!).
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
.... if "Hooked on a Feeling" is now stuck in your head thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy and/or its trailers, allow me to direct you to the David Hasselhoff cover video. (I think I may have linked it here before, because of the sheer amazing WTF of the thing, but it's always worth linking again.)

You're welcome.
sholio: slice of pie with ice cream and apples (Autumn-apple pie)
I posted an announcement over on my little-used realname blog (and on Tumblr) that I'm restarting my Kismet webcomic again. Not 'til August because I still have quite a bit of work to do, and June-July are going to be really busy for me; August, however, should be pretty mellow and give me lots of time to focus on it. Anyway, you'll be hearing lots more about it in the months to come, I'm sure. :D I also created a Kismet tumblr; I'll be reblogging basically everything from there to my main tumblr, but I thought it'd be a good idea to have a designated Kismet tumblr so people can follow it without having to wade through the MCU gifsplosion that my other Tumblr has become.

On the topic of fannish stuff, [ profile] avengersgen has a currently running promptfic round that is quite active (almost 200 comments so far!) so go check it out if you're looking for more LJ-based activity in this fandom.

Two upcoming Avengers-related fic exchanges that I ran across announcements for: Star Spangled Exchange (Steve-related), and Marvel POC Fanworks Exchange (characters of color in the MCU; fic or art).

FK Ficfest is taking signups again! This Forever Knight fic exchange is run by [personal profile] brightknightie and I really enjoyed it the year I played; it's fun and low-key ficathon in a small, pleasant fandom. Sadly I always seem to have too many obligations to participate (but I'm thinking about it).

Vague spoilers for the upcoming, last season of White Collar at this link. I ... don't know how to feel about that piece of information. Good? Bad? I am ambivalent.

Thanks to clicking on today's Google doodle, I discovered Mary Anning, who I'd never heard of, a working-class female fossil hunter in the early 19th century with a fascinating life story.

I think there were other things I wanted to link to, but I can't remember what ...
sholio: Text: "Age shall not weary her, nor custom stale her infinite squee" (Infinite Squee)
I recently got hooked on the webcomic Bad Machinery. There is a LOT of it (it updates 5 days a week and the archives go back to 2009, plus there's a previous strip, Scary Go Round, going back to 2002). If you aren't dead-set on reading in linear order, I recommend going back to the start of the current storyline and reading that first -- I kinda did this by accident, but it's not terribly spoilery for past events and I found it more fast-paced and engaging than starting from the actual beginning, which is a lot more slow-moving and throws a ton of characters at you.

Bad Machinery is about the adventures of a group of teens/preteens in fictional Tackleford, England, solving mysteries which frequently end up involving ghosts, time travel, aliens, and other weirdness. It's sort of like Nancy Drew on crack. I think one of the things I love most about it is that the kids are such kids, complete with extremely poor decision-making skills and an utter inability to understand how the adult world actually operates (although they think they do). At the same time they're smart and resourceful, just in a very 12-year-old kind of way. It's weird, hilarious, and adorable in a "wow, CHILDHOOD" sort of way.

Brief content warning: there are occasional flinchy bits, particularly an unpleasant storyline in which an overweight and unpopular D&D-playing girl nerd becomes viciously jealous of a thin, blonde protagonist to the point of trying to kill her. The kids are also uniformly cis and heterosexual, which is kind of noticeable since there's eventually quite a large group of named kids and adults (several dozen of them) and, seriously, all of them? (On the other hand, one of the girls is openly uninterested in boys or dating -- this strip made me even more a fan of her weirdo little self than I was already.)

... all of that said, it's a cute comic with tons of female characters and a focus on friendship and solving (absolutely ridiculous) mysteries together. And the characters are very easy to love in all their flawed glory.

(On a completely other note, I made my fake-NaNo word-count goals! *\o/* It's on about a dozen different projects and I haven't really FINISHED much of anything, but yay word counts.)


sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)

September 2017



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