( Bullet Points of Doom )
( Bullet Points of Doom )
( Cut to Further Ramblings )
Title: Juxtaposition 1
Fandom: Kyo Kara Maoh!
Characters: Gwendal, Gegenhuber (no pairings)
Word Count: 750
Summary: Two men reflect on each other’s influence on their lives.
Warnings: Introspection. Mild angst?
Spoilers: Some for issues with the boxes and their keys and all that.
Notes: Just experimenting with characterization here, so no real plot. No beta, so all mistakes are completely mine. Feedback, criticism and typo notifications welcome and appreciated. Thanks for reading!
( Juxtaposition 1 )
No. 1. What the H*** is up with the hair holding while vomiting?????? Eeeeew? Not only would I never do this for a friend/lover (because the sound of someone vomiting makes me feel like vomiting too), but I would never want anyone to do it for me. If I'm puking, be it from the flu or too much alcohol, I want to be completely, totally, 100-percent ALONE! Hands off! Get OUT! No solicitous back rubbing or hair holding. I'm already stressed enough without worrying about what a miserable time my friend/lover is having. And look, I've had long hair for over 25 years and I tell you right now I have NEVER ONCE vomited on it! Why does everyone else write about this????? Please tell me! Is this a common practice I've missed out by being a misanthropic recluse? Have I never been quite drunk enough to need assistance while barfing my guts out? Help!
No. 2. Or so. This lovely phrase is designed for getting across the fact that a given measurement is not exact. But sometimes it gets used so often that it just distracts me. If given a choice between 'Trowa waited for Quatre in the Jell-o pool for an hour or so before licking himself clean and leaving with a frustrated sigh' and 'Trowa waited in the Jello-pool for an hour before...' I would definitely take the latter. Most likely Trowa is not wearing his watch in the Jell-o pool and I can easily infer that he was not there for exactly 60 minutes without ruining the flow for the added 'or so'. It's not that 'or so' never has its place, but it just isn't necessary every time there is an indeterminate measurement. And what about 'about' or 'almost' or 'nearly' for some variety? 'Quatre arrived, out of breath, nearly twenty minutes later, wondering whether he would ever be forgiven for getting stuck in a board meeting on their anniversary.' Something about 'or so' messes with the meter and knocks me out of the flow of the narrative. Is it just me?
No. 3. Scratchy. I admit I have a strange hang-up about this word. It just plunges me into the world of being 5-year-old whiny child again. I have no idea why I think grownups should not use this word, but they do, so I'm doing my best to accept that. But why, why, WHY must all fictional blankets be scratchy??????????? I have experienced a number of blankets in my life, and they are not all scratchy. There are soft ones, stiff ones, threadbare ones, clammy ones. So many choices! And if they are itch-inducing, there are other options, such as rough or prickly that one could substitute for a little variety. I'm just saying. Maybe we are discriminating against blanket-kind here by only focusing on one?
Anyway, that's it for now. Not trying to be too negative or anything, just, as I said, in need of a reality check. If anyone has pet peeves of their own, feel free to share!
But my overload vent finally went off tonight. Why? Well, I'm glad you asked. My rant will now be presented in four parts. Thank you.
a) Mini Rant. In a story I was just reading, the word 'definitely' (spelled perfectly correctly) was actually used where 'defiantly' was meant. What the fuck??? How have these two words become interchangeable??? They have NOTHING TO DO WITH EACH OTHER. ARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH.
b) Slightly longer rant. This incident brought me flashing back to a clothes-shopping incident from last summer that I'd thought I'd finally managed to block out. While I was out looking for some cheap summer-weight jammies from Target, two girls approached a nearby rack and after some sliding of hangers, one exclaimed "That is defiantly not it." ACK! It's gone verbal! It is possible that it was being used in all irony, and was some longstanding joke between the friends though there was no irony in her tone (or maybe it's just that everything she said was delivered in that same faux-ironic ennui-filled mocking tone that's worse than squeaking chalk boards). But even if they were joking, VERBAL, people! It's escaped the page and emerged into the spoken language! Holy Shit.
c) Analysis. The verbalization of the 'teh' phenomenon is annoying enough, and 'pwn' is, well, kind of amusing to me, actually, but these are new words created from the fabric of social interaction. Fine. That's how language works and all that. But this just ticks me off, because it's two well-established words being blatantly switched around. And it derails my reading pleasure when I'm minding my own business enjoying a story and then whammo! I have to stop and reread the sentence to figure out why there is suddenly conflict between characters where there was none a second ago, or vice versa.
d) Conclusion. I know not everyone is the best speller in the world, and that doesn't make people bad writers, so I'm not trying to get up on some elitist high horse. I just wish people could take an extra second with this word, since it is so frequently misused. Overall, I am pretty flexible and accepting in the world of online spelling, but He glared at Roy definitely just doesn't make any sense, goddammit.
Okay, sorry. I'll shut up now. Please don't flame me!
(Oh, and I can't believe it's been 7 weeks since I've posted anything. Writer's block continues unabated. Sigh. May need to eliminate sugar/carbs from my diet. Panic. Only have one chapter of thesis written. Groan. Am currently watching the movie trailer awards. Hangs head in shame.)
AND I got an email from my friend who is still at the site where I would have been RIGHT NOW if hadn't gotten stupid Mystery Illness. She told me all about how things have been going and it sounds GREAT. So now I'm totally down.
On the other hand, not an hour after F.S. X was dissing my creds, F.S. Y called me up to let me know he should have a draft of his done by Monday and could I edit it for him. D'oh! He must have gotten my huffy vibes of the astral net. :P
On another happy note, I'm going home to New England for a few days before the semester starts. Yippee! Get to see the momster, my grandparents and actually get to our annual cousins picnic and also will be able to sneak down to Boston to see my former partners in crime. It'll be quick but such a nice way to make up for my aborted summer field season.
On a bummer note, I've been looking for a smaller, lighter laptop to help my back out next semester and I found a bunch of XPS 1210s on the Dell refurbished site for $900 and thought 'I'm not sure - I don't know enough about these things' So now after I've had time to do a little comparison shopping, OF COURSE they have all been snapped up and the cheapest light laptop on their site is $1700. Grrrrrr. I just didn't want to rush into buying one only to find it was a lemon! But I will attempt to be patient and just keep checking the site regularly and maybe another deal will come along. *crosses fingers and promises Santa to be good*
And on a salacious note, I randomly picked up Gorgeous Carat Vol. 3 at Half Price books, not having read the first two, because it opens with Hot Hero #1 chained to a wall being menaced by Evil Guy #2 with a whip. I can't really ask for anything more from my manga than that. Well, maybe just a wee sex scene between the two... but I'll take what I can get, especially for half price!
Et voila. That's my messed up brain in a nutshell.
Well, my continuing journey of self-obsession proceeds apace. I will never learn. Sorry no fics today. :( Can't write my way out of a paper bag at the moment.
( Whingefest behind cut. Just Skip This! )
Just finished reading a very enjoyable fantasy book that turns out to be written by a graduate of my department! Makes me wonder if I could just cut and run with my masters and become a fantasy novelist. It sounds so great, but seeing as how I can't even finish one silly fic for dentelle_noir I'd have to say my prospects don't look good. And now I find myself mildly obsessed with one of the secondary characters from the novel and want to write a fic for him - but many authors frown on that sort of thing, so I probably won't. (Well, plus I'm lazy and prefer fantasizing to actually sitting down and crafting a well-written story.)
And I saw this very funny movie the other night that our campus Japan club showed: Rajio no jikan. It was silly, cute, funny and endearing. It cheered me up immensely. Definitely worth a rental. Also finally watched Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle. Damn, that was pretty effing funny too. Hmmmm, procrastinate much? Why is it all I can think to talk about is books or movies or anime?
Okay, here's a question. On a Mahler song. A man travels hopelessly, haunted by images of his true love's face - his true love who can never be his. After much wandering bids his love farewell at last. He then sits down under a tree whose blossoms drift down on him like snow and for the first time finds he can take comfort in sleep. He reflects, "There I knew not how life hurts. Everything, everything was good again. Everything - love and sorrow and the world and dreams." And of course, to me this means he dies, but my mom insists he just finally finds peace and is coming to terms with the loss of his love. (Can Germans even do that??) I guess it's a glass half empty/half full question. Of course it is accompanied by Mahler's patented minor-key gut-wrenching angst-ridden music mixed with soaring twinges of hope. That's what he's so good at. I still say he's dead. What do you think?
Guess I'd better leave it at that for now.
On a happier note, My Quest Is Over At Last! Woohoo!! What quest, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. For many a year now I've been searching for one, only one, mind you, Yami No Matsuei Tsuzuki/Muraki story that actually captures the flavor of their relationship in any way even close to canon. It's got to be ugly, not consensual and without pretense of fluffy-bunny love. And last night, in a fit of German-induced agony, my wandering mind (and fingers) at last found their way, purely by accident, to Break the Horizon by Roo. It contains the following brilliant exchange:
"'I hate you,' he finally whispered.
Muraki stilled. 'No, beloved. You hate yourself. I’m just your reflection.'"
MUAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA. So evil. So true. So perfect. YIPPEE!! So my quest is finally ended. I should be sad, but I'm not. It's just so satisfying to finally find that one fic that I craved but could never bring myself to write, but knew, deep down inside, was out there somewhere. (Therapy is coming soon, I swear).
And as a special bonus prize, I even came across a delightful little nestegg of Shigure (from Fruits Basket) fic. I had long since given up even looking for Shigure fic, cuz he's like the oldest (or near enough) of the Sohma clan, and we all know that if you're over nineteen in anime you might as well start popping the Geritol. Anyway, some dear sweet lovey, calling herself Lishy the Po, apparently felt he needed some lovin' and set him up with Kyo. I'm not always a big fan of high school boy with older man scenario but this was done SOOOOOOOO well that I cannot complain at all. It left me with nice warm fuzzies that have lasted all day, and may well last the rest of the week. For the curious the fics can be found here.
Soooo, um, yeah. School work? What school work? I was even distracted while reading an article about frontier forts in colonial Argentina by the fact that one of the keywords was "bodily torment" which immediately got me to thinking about one of my recent anime rentals - Yugo the Negotiator. If you like your bishies fried, stabbed, drugged, frozen and served up on toast, then this anime is for you! Mmmmmmmm. And, as an added bonus, it was actually set in contemporary earth (or thereabouts) and there are no giant robots, troubled high school girls, magic powers or kung fu fighting panda bears anywhere to be seen. Not that those things are bad, but it is sometimes nice to get a more reality-based story that still has hot, tortured bishies in it. Well, one at least. It is damned yummy. My one complaint is that our here is so self-contained that you don't get to know him very well, aside from his near-fanatical determination to get the job done. A little more back story would have been nice. But still, it was great and he looks adorable sleeping on his pool table. And there was some interesting commentary on how well-researched the animation was, which I thought was pretty cool.
Well, I should probably get back to work now. Gotta iron out some rough spots in my translation and read something about gender in colonial Maryland or some such nonsense. Damn, I am blowing off this semester WAY too much.
OH, and it's official, I'M GOING TO INDONESIA!!!!! WOOOOOHOOOOOOOO!
Spent the weekend avoiding reality. Couldn't even write - even though I am very delinquent on the story I owe dentelle_noir - So sorry, my friend! Thank you for being so patient!! My muses have been on strike since I got home. Stupid bastards. (I think Duo ran off with Heero at that last rest stop in Louisiana, and I need him, dammit!) So I spent the weekend reading. Read the first three Mark Manning mystery novels by Michael Craft. An interesting look at a stable gay relationship written by a gay man - of course with murder mystery thrown in. I need action with my romance or I get completely bored. I must admit that two of the three mysteries I figured out pretty early on, but it was okay, because the character/relationship side of the story was satisfying enough. Also "read" via audio CD on my way home a Myron Bolitar mystery by Harlan Coben - didn't care much for the author's reading (his voice was a tad too Ray Romano-ish and he tended to swallow words) but the mystery was fun, and the hero's best buddy is this fastidious, womanizing, upper-class WASP/borderline psychotic who could kill you with a stale pretzel. My type of guy!! According to the text he was beaten up by bullies as a kid and swore never to allow that to happen again - and he made good in spades. He totally needs his own spinoff series, cuz he rocks, but, alas, his lack of moral code probably relegates him forever to the sidekick role. Still, I may read another just to hear more of him.
So after a weekend, and some portion of last week, devoted to reading, rather than writing, (okay, and watching old episodes of Relic Hunter) I was feeling rather low and uninspired but aching to write something of my own. And this morning, as I lay drowsing in bed in my heatless apartment (some sort of sequencer malfunction apparently), I was struck with an idea for the latest GW500 prompt. I haven't been able to come up with anything there recently, so I figured I should go with it, and write what I was in the mood to write - better than getting increasingly frustrated by writing nothing. So I did. It's a little sappy, but I hope reasonably realistic and not too boring. And now that it's out of the way, I may be able to finish off my overdue new years fic. After all, classes start tomorrow, so I will be in some serious need of procrastination projects. : )
Oh! Oh! News flash!! My heat just came back on. Yes, I'm from New England, but that doesn't make a 57-degree apartment any more enjoyable. Now I just have to worry about how long it will deign to stay on. My roommate suggested we try to include it in more of our conversations so it won't feel so lonely and left out, and then it may be more cooperative.
So here's today's insipid ramblings... (I swear, Dentelle, back to Trowa in his skimpy kilt soon!)
Word Count: 1920
Summary: Quatre tackles an important repair job on a lonely night.
Warnings: Introspection, slight angst, violin analogies.
Notes: Written for GW500 challenge #155: Bridge. Feedback/Criticism/Typo notifications welcome. Thanks for reading!
( Read Story )
I can't even deal with writing, which I was enjoying there for a while. Everything I write seems emotionally shallow and full of cliches. Posted something last night and then took it down the next morning because I was paranoid that it sucked too much. Pathetic. And I find myself agonizing over whether I'll get any feedback or not, and if I don't then I'm completely disappointed and basically just too emotionally dependent on whether people bother to tell me if they liked a stupid 600-word story. It's so pathetic. It doesn't help that I finally broke down over the holiday and cracked open the second book of the Lymond Chronicles that has been tempting me since the beginning of the semester. FUCK, Dorothy Dunnett is an amazing writer!! Just reading one chapter of hers makes me ashamed to even consider picking up the proverbial pen ever again. Behold the brilliance:
"It was one of those occasions when Lymond asleep wrecked the peace of mind of more people than Lymond awake."
"It was difficult not to like him, and few tried."
Sigh. Such command of her universe!! Such clarity of thought and image! Such concise delivery! I am in paroxysms of delight and envy. It has finally become clear to me that my imagination is limited to the hackneyed plots I grew up with on television, and that my emotional perception is severely hampered by the fact that I'm a bitter, misanthropic old crone. Even in the GW fandom there are so many writers that just wipe the floor with me, it makes me sick. Especially when I am already feeling morose and incompetent.
On the upside - at least I took a few pictures in Washington that I liked. Would have been better with an SLR, but still, a couple were decent. And Newcastle was on sale at the grocery store. Woohoo. They recently jacked the price up to $9.fucking49! Jesus Christ on a stick! What's in this stuff? Titanium? Putting it on sale is the only way they are going to move any stock in this town. No one here is going to pay 9.50 for a sixpack! Hell, I can go to MH's during happy hour and get four pints for practically the same price. Huh, rant much? And about beer. The road to alcoholism is a subtle one, my dear.
So I guess I'll post my yanked story here, because I still like the last line, even if the rest of it is seriously flawed. And this is the only repository I have for all my fics. Except for one or two I posted on Pervy_Werewolf way back when. One was pretty nasty, as I recall. Maybe I should try that again. I keep coming up with silly comedy vignettes when I really want pain, blood, angst and misery - with an eventual happy ending, of course. Sigh. I'm really whining alot tonight. But then, that's kinda what this journal is for - no one really reads it but me, so I could just write shit down in a book, but somehow I can't bring myself to do that, but *this* I can do. Weird. Maybe it's the pitiable hope that someone will read it and sympathize. My friend Matt thinks it's completely pathetic that people do that, and I agree that it's totally egotistical (and probably somehow passive-aggressive), but I'm nothing if not shallow and self-obsessed, so I guess it's perfect for me. : P
Damn, life is a crappy place. And without any further ado (and with one brief rewrite)....
Title: Everything Nice
Characters/Pairing: Quatre/Trowa, mention of Heero/Duo
Word Count: 668
Summary: Quatre’s sick of being the cute one.
Warnings: Fluff, smooching, mild suggestions of bdsm, garnish abuse.
Notes: As mentioned above, written for GW500 challenge #149: Sugar, but pulled for general suckiness.
( Read Story )
Finally saw Howl's Moving Castle. SOOOOOO great! A few parts of the plot made no sense, but I can happily overlook it. (Like why does the entire fate of the these two kingdoms depend on Suliman's grudge against Howl. Confusing.) But I must say I am so glad this didn't come out when I was 13! YIKES! I probably would have been a complete ball of obsession (oh, like I'm not now?). Young, handsome mysterious wizard???? Fuck, I'd have been doomed. As it is I watched it twice in row. But I also love the idea of this girl who is allowed to discover more about herself as a 90-year-old than as a young woman. Without the pressures of sex appeal (or lack thereof for our 'plain' heroine) she can behave differently and see herself differently. A great lesson, I think, in this beauty-obsessed world. (I say after gushing over how hot Howl is. But I never said I wasn't a hypocrite!)
Also finished Disc 7 of Kyo Kara Maoh [beware spoilers in this paragraph]. It left the song 'We Love You Conrad' from Bye Bye Birdie stuck in my head for several days. : p Talk about dropping off the face of the planet. EVIL. We couldn't afford the character's voice actor anymore so we're just gonna use his arm instead. Today the part of Conrart Weller will be played by... his arm. Hehehehee. No, really, the suspense is killing me - dead or alive? (I'm voting for not dead.) Scarred for life or completely curable with magic demony healing powers? This show is one of those uniquely Asian slap-stick angst fests where you just never know which way the story is going to turn. Generally slap-stick prevails in this one but then I was completely not expecting the whole arm hacking bit. Not sure what I was expecting from an episode entitled Conrad's Arm, but I clearly wasn't thinking quite that literally! D'oh.
Okay so that's pretty much a rundown of my procrastinatory measures of the past week. Oh, yeah, I posted a quickie story on GW500 last week - at only 201 words it's really just a drabble in response to the prompt "chicken". As I mentioned in my intro there, 'chicken' and 'hot sex' are complete incompatible, so I ended up with goofy, sappy comedy instead. Though I did nobly refrain from tossing in an actual rubber chicken.
And of course tonight, instead of reading my articles on craft specialization or working on my abstract, I.... surprise, surprise, wrote another stupid story. That's what comes from another weekend fanfic binge. So spineless. Anyway this is just a short one about Trowa and his amnesia. (another longer one languishes unfinished on my desktop) This one's mostly inspired by my worries about my own lack of memory. I have spent so long actively trying to forget embarrassing moments from my day/week/life (which always seems like all the moments I ever experienced) that I can remember very little of my past - even the good bits. And then I worry about my grandfather and his memory loss. It's so painful to just lose someone like that and I'm scared that someday that's going to be me. But anyway, this is Trowa, and his problems are somewhat different from mine. Still, I gave him a similar starting point. Hope it doesn't suck too much. Written while listening to Ethel's "Be In" - a fucking zen masterpiece!!!!
And don't forget... When you're not near to us, we're blue. Oh Conrad, we love you.
Title: Reshelving the Soul
Word Count: 458
Summary: Trowa reflects on the importance of memories.
Warnings: Introspection, total plotlessness, possible PPoC (Pretentious Piece of Crap).
Notes: Does anyone else get annoyed by Trowamnesia stories in which he conveniently remembers little things like How He’s Always Loved Quatre or Where They First Kissed or Some Such Nonsense? Maybe it’s just me…. Submitted for GW500 challenge #141: Book. Feedback/Criticism/Typo notifications welcome. Thanks for reading!
( Read Story )