Meme from Moetushie

Mar. 26th, 2017 02:46 pm
likeadeuce: (writer)
[personal profile] likeadeuce
Fic meme!

Pick a fic, ask a question.

Works on AO3 (or if you remember stuff I've written, 'the one with. . .' is fine)

1: What inspired you to write the fic this way?
2: What scene did you first put down?
3: What’s your favorite line of narration?
4: What’s your favorite line of dialogue?
5: What part was hardest to write?
6: What makes this fic special or different from all your other fics?
7: Where did the title come from?
8: Did any real people or events inspire any part of it?
9: Were there any alternate versions of this fic?
10: Why did you choose this pairing for this particular story?
11: What do you like best about this fic?
12: What do you like least about this fic?
13: What music did you listen to, if any, to get in the mood for writing this story? Or if you didn’t listen to anything, what do you think readers should listen to to accompany us while reading?
14: Is there anything you wanted readers to learn from reading this fic?
15: What did you learn from writing this fic?

Meme from [personal profile] naraht

Mar. 26th, 2017 02:29 pm
el_staplador: English Royal Arms; caption 'honi soit qui mal y pense' (honi soit qui mal y pense)
[personal profile] el_staplador
Usual drill: pick one of my fics; pick a question. Fics are here, in descending order of word count to send the drabbles to the bottom.

1: What inspired you to write the fic this way?
2: What scene did you first put down?
3: What’s your favorite line of narration?
4: What’s your favorite line of dialogue?
5: What part was hardest to write?
6: What makes this fic special or different from all your other fics?
7: Where did the title come from?
8: Did any real people or events inspire any part of it?
9: Were there any alternate versions of this fic?
10: Why did you choose this pairing for this particular story?
11: What do you like best about this fic?
12: What do you like least about this fic?
13: What music did you listen to, if any, to get in the mood for writing this story? Or if you didn’t listen to anything, what do you think readers should listen to to accompany us while reading?
14: Is there anything you wanted readers to learn from reading this fic?
15: What did you learn from writing this fic?
umadoshi: (LOK - Korra smiling (sugarplums))
[personal profile] umadoshi
"The New Autistic Muppet Could Save People Like Me A Lifetime Of Pain". [Sarah Kurchak at The Establishment]

"Are Straight Women Okay?" [Autostraddle] "But a stroll down the “his and hers” retail section will still have me on some Family Feud Steve Harvey levels of disbelief. [...] When you further investigate this phenomenon, as I did, things get real dark, real quick. The items themselves are worrying enough on their own as they reveal a prison of what women are allowed to be and should want, but then you dive deeper and the culture that lurks just behind these items reveals itself. I’ve seen the depths of this landscape and I need to ask a question: are straight woman okay? Like, not in a joking way — do they need assistance?"

"10+ Pics Proving That Cats Are Actually Demons".

"Earth’s newest cloud is terrifying".

Flaredown is "a free web and mobile app that helps patients track and visualize their illness, treatments, and symptom triggers so that they can understand how their choices affect their health". (I haven't used this. I'm passing along a rec of it being something that might be worth looking into.)

"Smurfette’s Roots: In her original incarnation, the only female Smurf reminds me of all the assumptions I’ve had to navigate about my sexuality and sense of self as a Jewish woman".

"Anorexia Survivor Posts Powerful Side by Side Photo to Instagram". [Teen Vogue] "Instagram user Megan Jayne Crabbe, a body-positive role model who beat anorexia and now uses the handle @BodyPosiPanda, posted a side-by-side image to the social media site to highlight the differences between posed photographs and reality. In both images, she's wearing the same purple lingerie, tie-dye hair, and infectious grin — but that's where the similarities stop." [Content notes: mention of past anorexia, but the photos are not from that time period.]

From last year: "The 'Gay Porn With a Different Ending' Comment, and the Problem With Homophobia in MMA". [Sarah Kurchak at the Fightland blog]

"How Can Jordan Peele Make a Movie Like Get Out & Have a White Wife? Pretty Easily Actually".

"Why do so many male journalists think female stars are flirting with them? A magazine’s profile with Selena Gomez is the latest to have an icky fixation on its subject’s looks. Perhaps it’s time for men to be banned from interviewing women".

"'Mischievous' Jane Austen 'made up' marriage records". [BBC]

"How a study about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was doctored, adding to pain and stigma".

"Pakistani Artist’s Concept Art Of A Sci-Fi Pakistan Will Blow You Away".

"A Journey Into the Merriam-Webster Word Factory". "This month, [Kory Stamper, lexicographer], the author of the new book “Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries,” was more than happy to offer a tour of some of the distinctly analog oddities in the basement."

"2016 didn’t just give us “fake news.” It likely gave us false memories". (This touches on Trump and current events a fair bit, but is mainly about the research into memory.)

"Canadian Literature, Settler Colonialism, and Sex With Vegetables? [twitter.com profile] HeerJeet has some insights". (Storify. Also mentions CanLit that involves sex with animals, which...is apparently a thing?)

"THE POTATO APOCALYPSE: To set off a truly epic rant you have to bide your time and wait until someone you know with Serious Ranting Chops is just a wee bit tipsy. Your patience will be rewarded. As mine was tonight". A Storify of an [twitter.com profile] UrsulaV rant about potatoes.

"Dystopian dreams: how feminist science fiction predicted the future".

Fic meme from Tumblr

Mar. 26th, 2017 01:33 pm
naraht: (Default)
[personal profile] naraht
This is one of the best fic memes that I've seen. I love most of these questions.

My fic

1: What inspired you to write the fic this way?
2: What scene did you first put down?
3: What’s your favorite line of narration?
4: What’s your favorite line of dialogue?
5: What part was hardest to write?
6: What makes this fic special or different from all your other fics?
7: Where did the title come from?
8: Did any real people or events inspire any part of it?
9: Were there any alternate versions of this fic?
10: Why did you choose this pairing for this particular story?
11: What do you like best about this fic?
12: What do you like least about this fic?
13: What music did you listen to, if any, to get in the mood for writing this story? Or if you didn’t listen to anything, what do you think readers should listen to to accompany us while reading?
14: Is there anything you wanted readers to learn from reading this fic?
15: What did you learn from writing this fic?

(no subject)

Mar. 26th, 2017 01:32 pm
quarter_to_five: (Default)
[personal profile] quarter_to_five
I have this writing bunny bouncing around in my head where it's a kind of campy pastiche of orientalist Edwardian lady derring do ala Gertrude Bell but set in Central Asia instead of the Middle East (beats me why) and seems to be situated somewhere between romance and erotica genre-wise and, like, hopefully not racist,

which, ok, so far so good, but for some reason the brain is insisting on a framing device, possibly multiple framing devices, where its set much later (WW2ish) and its someone finding this personal/political/elaborately smutty journal and having to track down the protagonist for Important Information To Defeat Nazis (because why not, nazis) accross soon-to-be-at-war Europe and then Gertrude-Bell-Character gets involved with his wife (I dunno, k?) etcetera, and the journal in and of itself as a physical object is also stolen by someone else back in the original Edwardian timeline so there's a second point-of-view first-timeline character emerging all of which I feel is really unneccessary for the actual thing but there we go.

Point being, I'm writing none of this because I'm in grad school and never write anything that doesn't have a citation anymore, but I did spend half the weekend working out in meticulous detail the perspective switches and epistolary interjection one pivotal scene would need to work with this needlessly elaborate framing device.

*headdesk*

(I also finished an abstract tho!)

Check Please!

Mar. 26th, 2017 10:05 am
naraht: (Default)
[personal profile] naraht
Last night, in search of stuff that was 'like' (for a given value of 'like') Yuri!!! on Ice, I stayed up late reading through Check Please from the beginning.

Rather than explain it in depth, I'll just link to this (spoilery) primer: The Queer Hockey Bros Webcomic You Should Be Reading.

I enjoyed it and found it a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours. Although my current assessment is "doesn't hold a candle to YoI," I remember that my first assessment of YoI on Dreamwidth was the notably lukewarm "I may be kind of enjoying it... the romance is rather sweet." Interestingly, although the relationship between Jack and Bitty in Check Please has zero ambiguity, we see less of its development than we do of the relationship between Victor and Yuuri. I felt that the narrative skips over a lot, but I suppose that just leaves space for fandom to fill in. There definitely seems to be some good fic available, and a surprising amount of it – over 5000 works!

More observations:
• It's an achievement that this managed to make me feel sympathetic about hockey bros. To be fair, they're Massachusetts liberal arts college bros, who may be a slightly different breed.
• Unlike YoI, this is set in a universe where homophobia exists, but embedded within a basically homophobia-free college and sports team. I feel like we're going to get a collision with the wider world soon, as the characters are closeted beyond the sphere of friends and family, and wonder how it's going to turn out.
• It's interesting how this has many of the same themes as YoI but combined in different ways. YoI if Victor had Yuuri's anxiety and JJ's pushy Canadian family.

In conclusion, or perhaps in a complete derail, I really want to read a proper longfic from someone who knows their sports where Victor ends up going into hockey instead of figure skating. Including his journey from KHL to NHL. It would be most obvious to have him playing for SKA Saint Petersburg – which means he'd still be based at Yubileyny Sports Palace! – but I love the names of some of the other teams. Metallurg Magnitogorsk, Traktor Chelyabinsk, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. Victor is slightly shorter than the average NHL player (though they'd probably just lie and say he was 6 feet even), and certainly a good deal lighter, but the latter would be mainly down to the difference in training regimens. Anyway, it would be interesting, but very much not something that I could write.

ETA: Dear God, I just realised that 'Check Please!' has an exclamation point in its title too. This really is a metric of how gay a source text is, isn't it?

ETA 2: Evgeni Plushenko plays hockey on an amateur team! How did I not know this? So interesting.

A general update

Mar. 26th, 2017 01:20 am
umadoshi: (headache (skellorg))
[personal profile] umadoshi
--I keep meaning to post various things here, but then I'm either not at the computer, or if I am, I'm also in a "stare blankly at the screen rather than stringing words together" mode.

--Writing anything resembling fiction is happening even less. I just poked my writing tracker, and I wrote a whopping ~800 words last month, and so far, nothing at all this month. (I'm at under 3000 words for the year so far, which I needed to look up to check in at [dreamwidth.org profile] inkingitout.) My brain feels both empty and sludgy. It's very weird and I actively dislike it, but I haven't even been opening WIP files and staring at them, which is more my usual not-writing MO.

--Casual Job resumes for the spring session in about a month--which is to say, about a month later than usual. We suspect it'll only last for a month or so (presumably followed by our office keeping me and the other seasonal folks on for four additional weeks to clear the inevitable spring-session backlog), which is not wallet-cheering news.

--On the freelancing front, I just recently finished Maid-sama! and am finishing My Love Story!! for VIZ, and I also seem to have two Seven Seas series with only one volume remaining. That doesn't leave me with a worryingly-low number of titles, fortunately (I think I still have eight between the two publishers), but it's a lot wrapping up all at once.

--We're not at the point of booking plane tickets yet, but [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I are starting to work out when we're probably going to be in Toronto next. It feels like it's been forever. (It hasn't. We were there last August.) So that's a thing I'm very much looking forward to.
lightreads: a partial image of a etymology tree for the Indo-European word 'leuk done in white neon on black'; in the lower left is (Default)
[personal profile] lightreads
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World

4/5. Middle grade novel prequel to the popular comic. My wife loves the comic but hasn't read this. Below is a rough transcript of my commentary to her:

Ahaha, Squirrel Girl has just happened to a bunch of LARPers. . . . Aw, her parents are adorable. So supportive! They remind me of your parents when you came out*. . . . Aw, her deaf new best friend is crabby and adorable. . . . For the record, the villain's name is The Micromanager, just so you know. . . . Aw, she is adorable. . . . Oh now she's chatting with a bad guy about his poor life choices and how he really should be wearing a seatbelt when he's driving like that. . . . Ahahaha, she is texting with The Winter Soldier. Oh, now she's texting with Tony Stark about how she needs help from someone smart and resourceful, and she asked him for Bruce Banner's number, I'm dying, I'm dead. Ahaha she is trash-talking and her trash talk is that the villain "is going downtown without a bus pass."

There was also a longer conversation in there about how it seems that Squirrel Girl exists in a different genre than most of the other people around her. It's actually really interesting – the closer a person gets to her like her parents or her bestie, the more they become realized in Squirrel Girl's genre. That is, aggressively, unstoppably cheerful with a streak of zany. Whereas people in the background – like the mean girls at school – exist in a more typical high school novel whose rules Squirrel Girl doesn't so much ignore as just never notice. My wife says the comic has a similar function in the wider comics universe – Squirrel Girl is a streak of off-beat color in a grimdark sea. And that's the joke. And the not joke.

I loved this.

*She came out when she went home over her first winter break in college and when she got back to her dorm there were congratulations flowers waiting for her. How cute is that?

Some Short Fiction Recs

Mar. 25th, 2017 11:36 am
forestofglory: Glasses and books (books)
[personal profile] forestofglory
"Extracurricular Activities" by Yoon Ha Lee A fun twisty story with spies and secret missions. It's set in the same world as Ninefox Gambit, but stands alone. I just love how the author sketches characters and societies with a few key details.

"And In Our Daughters, We Find a Voice" by Cassandra Khaw creepy dark little mermaid re-telling (content note: a human character with ambiguous gender traits is referred to as "it")

MCU mini-marathon

Mar. 25th, 2017 06:34 pm
scaramouche: Captain America's shield & Iron Man's arc reactor; Civil War artwork (steve+tony)
[personal profile] scaramouche
Still in a Steve/Tony high, I decided to have an MCU mini-marathon with The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War. It was most fun. Some conclusions:
  • The Avengers is more nerve-wracking in rewatch, knowing that SHIELD is actually Hydra part deux. Just about everything to do with or done by SHIELD made me anxious.

  • The action in The Avengers isn't... shot very well. Age of Ultron, despite having more CGI weirdness, is far more dynamic and physics-heavy. On the flipside, The Avengers as a whole is continuously exciting and engaging, while I found myself mentally checking out of some quieter scenes of Age of Ultron. As for Civil War, it feels emotionally tight in a way that the other two films simply don't, and the hand-to-hand combat is also excellent, but the airport fight goes on way too long in rewatch.

  • There is something to be said for the opinion I'd seen on the interwebs that Age of Ultron works really well as an immediate follow-up to The Avengers, i.e. if you pretend that Iron Man 3 never happened. (Captain America: The Winter Soldier less so, because there's at least some consequences from that movie brought forward.) Which is a bummer, because I love Iron Man 3.

  • Considering I just read a book about meteoroids and global-level extinctions, Ultron's plan is even more ridiculous. I mean, sure, superhero-movie physics, but eh.

  • Steve's dialogue improves DRAMATICALLY between The Avengers and Age of Ultron. How much of that was Steve's The Avengers PTSD getting lost to the cutting room floor, and how much was it due to Steve's snarkiness being highlighted in The Winter Soldier, which might've influenced the writing for Age of Ultron? Don't even get me started with Steve's costume in The Avengers.

  • Natasha and Thor are hilarious, and although I can understand them being flattened a lot in fic that's focused on other characters, it's still a damn shame that it happens.

  • Look, Steve is my fav, but the thing that bugged me the most about his POV in Civil War is that he presented no alternatives to signing the Accords. He was just a wall, and made no effort to bridge the divide. I can buy that being part and parcel of the character, but let's just say that I know enough walls like that in real life that I get stressed as hell seeing it in fiction.

  • The logic of the Accords continue to be shaky as hell (why... are they blaming damage caused by other parties on the Avengers) but I can buy this in a sense because the true endgame a la Zemo had nothing to do with the Accords itself. Though I am interested in seeing how the Accords play out in the following films, if at all.

  • All three films involve the core team being split apart by the bad guy. ALL THREE. It's weird as hell to watch back-to-back, and the only thing Civil War does differently is that it makes it permanent, while the previous two have the team getting back together for the sake of the battlefield, though without actually talking about it or having any emotionally honest team moments. Which, I guess, highlights how the team was volatile to begin with, and only really work as a team when they can focus on a common target. Fandom has wanked to hell and back about whether these guys really are friends instead of mini-cliques who work together by necessity, but I find it more interesting to look at it this way: Tony and Steve's first real emotional moments happen under the weight of the Accords, and later in Siberia in the worst possible circumstances. (They had a single, great banter scene at the end of Age of Ultron, but it felt like merely skimming the surface, especially compared to the connection between Tony and Bruce in The Avengers, plus Steve's with Sam and Nat in The Winter Soldier.) Extrapolating from that, Avengers: Infinity War would be a spectacular cap off for this cycle of films if it manages to present true, bona fide emotional team moments. No pressure.*

*I mean, I'd love it, though I know better than to pin my hopes on it.

It's just really egregious when watching the films back-to-back, how the team just head off for the final fight with Loki/Ultron without addressing the team conflict presented on-screen beforehand. The Avengers is less an issue because they're just starting out as a team, but Age of Ultron is really awkward -- they were literally beating the crap out of each other before Vision pops out and picks up Mjolnir.

I felt that Civil War does really well to address that emotional gap with dialogue that actually depicts familiarity between the members (the Steve & Tony argument just before Bucky gets triggered is so so SO different from their arguments in the first two films, with actual affection present between the lines) but, well... civil war, et cetera. Even the epic fight in the airport felt less stressful in a sense, because they were aiming to stop, not to hurt, whereas the fights in both Avengers films were very much targeting the soft, squishy bits of each other. Basically, after watching the first two Avengers I felt starved for more friendly interactions, but somehow after Civil War I wasn't as much, despite it ending on such open-ended heartbreak. Which is food for thought, I guess.

While I was about halfway through Civil War, my father came in and decided to join me. He'd never seen it before, and he hasn't seen Age of Ultron either, but he seemed to be able to follow it well enough, and was really into it until he realized what was going on and said, appalled, "They're fighting each other?"

Plus, once the reveal with the 1991 accident happened, he said flatly: "Well, that's difficult."

Yes. Yes, it is.
umadoshi: (Winter Soldier - Steve & Natasha)
[personal profile] umadoshi
Fannish/Geeky Things

"The Fansplaining Definitions Survey". "This project is a production of the Fansplaining podcast, which is run by Elizabeth Minkel and Flourish Klink. You can learn more about us at fansplaining.com. We're not academics and this is not an academic survey, but we do strive to discuss and learn more about fandom in general. (We're both, by the way, longtime fanfic readers and writers.)"

Fan-made "Deadpool Musical - Beauty and the Beast "Gaston" Parody". [YouTube, ~6 minutes (including credits)]

"Once More With Feeling: On the afterlife of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, what makes a show resonate for two decades, and why we re-watch television".

"Marvel’s Netflix Shows Need to Get More Comfortable with the MCU".


Writing/SFF

I liked Daniel José Older's NaNoWriMo pep talk.

"The SFF Equine: From Companions to Dragons". [Judith Tarr at Tor.com] "Both McCaffrey and Lackey based their magical beasts on a particular horse-human partnership: that of the riders and the (mostly) white stallions of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna. The horses are called Lipizzaner or Lipizzans in tribute to the original stud farm at Lipica in what is now Slovenia, and have been bred to much the same standard since the sixteenth century. They’re short, stocky, sturdy, strong, and highly intelligent. And they’ve been bred to favor individuals that bond with a single rider for, in the best case, the life of the horse."

"V.E. Schwab Expanding A Darker Shade of Magic With New Stories, Fan Art". (This is a collector's edition of the novel, not a whole new book.)

"Tale as old as time? We explore spin-offs, reboots and racebending". [[twitter.com profile] readingtheend guest-posting at OxfordWords blog]

"How Disney's 'Beauty and the Beast' Became the Darkest Tale of All: Despite the musical numbers, the 1991 Disney film is actually the darkest retelling of the popular fairy tale". [Genevieve Valentine at Vice]

"The Savage Other as a Stereotype in Fiction". [Kate Elliott]


Miscellaneous

Julia sent me this YouTube link: "The Birthday Boys - Gotta Catch My Shows". It's so true. ;_; See also: today's Wondermark.

"How to download a GIF from Twitter?" [Ezgif.com] It's not perfect--I think maybe it's rejecting some file formats?--but so far it's the most reasonable way I've found to nab "gifs" from Twitter. (Scare quotes because Twitter's idea of what to do with a gif is convert it to a video.)

"53 Pictures Only Introverts Can Truly Appreciate". [Buzzfeed] An alarming number of these are accurate for me. O_o

"Chris Evans Is Ready To Fight: His success as Captain America has made Chris Evans one of Hollywood's sure things, which means he can do whatever he wants with his free time. So why jump out of airplanes and get into it with David Duke?" [Esquire]

"This Adorable Pup Named Biden Just Got To Meet Former VP Joe Biden". [Buzzfeed]

"ModCloth Has Been Sold to Walmart—and Their Customers are Pissed". [The Mary Sue]

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] cofax7, "A Book of Creatures" is a blog that posts about "entities of myth, legend, and folklore", and notes "WARNING: May contain sex, violence, and divine retribution."

A dress that changes from a simpler ball gown to a butterfly dress. [Facebook video]

"A 130-Year-Old Fact About Dinosaurs Might Be Wrong: New research on the creatures’ family tree could “shake dinosaur paleontology to its core.”".

Vidthings

Mar. 24th, 2017 05:04 pm
kass: white cat; "kass" (Default)
[personal profile] kass
Okay, this is AWESOME: Videlicet, a vidding zine featuring albymangroves, astolat, bironic, bradcpu, cathexys, gwyneth, hollywoodgrrl, kiki_miserychic, lim, loki, mordandawn, obsessive24, pteryx, speranza, stultiloquentia, thefourthvine, and tons of vids. I've only just started browsing it and it is delicious.

Also, [livejournal.com profile] sigerson sent me a link to a truly adorable Voltron vid made to "Starships," which I just showed to Zaphod, and which made us both very happy.

Here it is! )

some things

Mar. 23rd, 2017 10:51 pm
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
* I almost have my MRI referral, yay. First I must go for an X-ray, boo, because my med insurance requires one before the other. The facility has walk-in X-rays, boo, and to get in line, I'll have to rise even earlier, which usually leads to Reason's early rising, too, double boo. It's more than 5 km from the office, boo, on a bus line, yay.

I don't understand the logic that requires irradiation to rule out bone chips before imaging soft tissue, given that I have partial use of my shoulder---continually so since the fall three months ago. I am enormously glad to have partial use of my shoulder, to be clear: I can type and handwrite, get into a shirt without much trouble, open a lightweight door, even do forearm planks and ± hang the laundry. (I hang everything besides sheets because I like wearing things out, not having the dryer do it for me.) I can't hand my child a fork or spoon without pain, however, given where we sit at table: angle of extension, not how demanding the task is. After my grumpy post about near-total lack of abduction, I tried the bicycle, which overtaxed my left shoulder in compensation but led to a nap, not a fall. ...yay? (Informed risks are part and parcel of chronic pain, anyway.) While I read random web things, my left hand uses the mouse while my right arm bends and curls into my ribs unbidden, as though my body could protect it. Sorry, arm and axle; please keep waiting.

* Reason is so annoyed that Hidden Figures the book is "for grownups" and has "a ton of text." Wait two or three years, little one, and you'll probably skate through it. (She wouldn't be so irritated were she unable to conceive of herself reading it.) There's apparently a Young Readers version, but our nearest library doesn't have it.
scaramouche: Anna from Supernatural in cartoon form (spn: anna cartoon)
[personal profile] scaramouche
During some link-hopping I discovered that, despite Disney tentatively doing a live-action film of their The Little Mermaid, and there being a film adaptation with Shirley MacLaine coming out this year, another indie film managed to leapfrog both for a 2016 release and became, officially, the first English-language live-action feature film adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid.

(It's true. Despite the book coming out in the 19th century, all the prior adaptations have been animated, live-action for television, or in languages other than English.)

Last night I watched this 2016 film, which stars Rosie Mac as the little mermaid, and can say quite reasonably that the only thing this film has going for it is that it that was made quickly enough to get that First English-Language Live-Action Film Adaptation moniker. Its worst fault isn't that it looks like it was made for $100 dollars (of which $90 dollars was spent on the gorgeous mermaid tail that seen for maybe 30 seconds), or that the story is a cynical modern-day adaptation with very little wonder, or that the acting leaves a lot to be desired. Its worst fault is that it's boring.

I can forgive a lot if there's a decent idea somewhere in the center of any story, and although there were a few flashes of maybe-brilliance in this adaptation, it's just a slog to watch, and with very little charm. I didn't care about or understand any of the characters, and I had very little idea of what the story was trying to say. Plus it had that sense of look-how-edgy-we-are in having the little mermaid and her (first) prince having a one night stand that ends badly, and then the little mermaid being curious about sex toys and then becoming a burlesque dancer. I have very little patience for edgelord adaptations that don't retain any sense of magic, and not to mention that this makes it the third recent cynical adaptation for The Little Mermaid specifically, the others being Little From the Fish Shop and Charlotte's Song (which is more inspired-by instead of a straight adaptation, but still).

Still, I think in theory that I could have enjoyed a modern-day adaptation that takes a cold, hard look at the culture clash of a mute mermaid having to navigate our world, if only it weren't so damn dull and cheerless.

Gratitudes

Mar. 23rd, 2017 08:25 pm
kass: glass of white wine (white wine)
[personal profile] kass
1. Turns out my property taxes are, in fact, taken-care-of by the mortgaging institution and therefore not my problem.

2. My mother gave me the Hamiltome! I gave it to her last year for her birthday and she finally finished reading it and passed it along to me. I am so happy to have it and am reading it bit by bit.

3. I finally located the beeping smoke detector. (It was in the garage.) My house is no longer intermittently beeping.

4. I don't have to work tomorrow night, which is a rarity. I get the evening off!

5. I am watching the new Netflix reboot of Voltron with Zaphod, and am totally digging it. I think it's my favorite thing he's watched since Avatar. It's fun to have something that we actually both enjoy, to watch while we cuddle on the couch.

(no subject)

Mar. 23rd, 2017 01:36 pm
nestra: (Nikita)
[personal profile] nestra
Fellow Nikita people:

Crap, looks like the Split Personality archive is down. Anyone know anything about it? I mentioned AO3's Open Doors a few times to...someone. Probably not ranma. I wonder if there's any way to reconstruct it or get it saved by AO3 without the original owner.

FMK: The Princess and the Goblin

Mar. 23rd, 2017 12:14 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
Princess Irene is definitely D'Angeline, isn't she. Which of the angels is her Great-Grandmama?

...Anyway, somehow I was expecting this to be about a princess and a goblin, not a princess and a peasant boy and a WHOLE BUNCH of goblins, none of whom she really interacts with. I think somehow I had got the impression that Curdie was a goblin who helped her out.

That's really the core of my response to this book. As I was reading it (and I'm very glad I did) I was seeing all the ways in which this is really an important foundation block in the later fantasy I've read, missing pieces that I haven't found in extensive folklore reading but still turn up every now and then in post-Victorian stuff, even such little things as the physical descriptions of the goblins. (Such as having a jack-o-lantern face, when folklore pumpkinheads are usually very distinct from folklore goblins.)

And then there's the very strong, and very Victorian, thread in this book of beautiful = good and ugly = bad. Not to say that post-Victorian kidlit has totally solved that one, but still, there's enough pushback against it in newer kids' fantasy (and in folklore) that my response to the lady who is beautiful beyond imagining (*especially* if she admits she's wearing a glamour) is BEWARE, and you should probably go find an ugly crone to talk to instead. Also I can't think of a single reason why the goblins aren't in the right here, given the way they are being dehumanized and their lands are being steadily stolen and then destroyed. They even try for a diplomatic solution first!

Of course, the fairy-story books I was imprinting on instead when I was the age for this were The Ordinary Princess (all about how Ordinary doesn't have to be Beautiful to be Good) and Goblins in the Castle (where Our Hero realizes halfway through that the displaced goblins are in the right and he's been on the wrong side all along). Both of those books are almost certainly arguing with MacDonald and his peers, whether consciously on the part of the writers or not, but I got their side of the argument first and it's a much better side. :P

I was also interested in how young Irene was. There's a standard in kidlit publishing (or at least there was, awhile back) that your protagonist should always be at least a couple of years older than the reading level you're writing for, presumably as an aspirational thing, and also so kids who read a lot can feel smug about reading books for older kids and kids who are a little slower don't have to be talked down to.

But I'm wondering if it's also because adult authors tend to write their protagonists acting a few years younger than kids of that age feel like they are in their heads. Irene certainly feels younger than eight to me, for a lot of the book: at eight I could tell you who my cousins-once-removed were and how they were different from my second-cousins, and I can't imagine many second graders I know being confused by the concept of a great-grandma, or in general have Irene's maturity level. And when I was a kid, reading books about kids a few years older than me, the protagonists didn't usually feel like they were that much older than me. Maybe by telling grownups to write eleven-year-olds for eight-year-olds, you end up with characters who feel like eight-year-olds to eight-year-olds.

I did really like the strong message in this book that adults need to believe what kids say to them, and that if the adults don't, that's on the adults, not the kids. And if the kids let themselves be half-convinced the adults are right and the kids are imagining or exaggerating, it's also the adults' fault, and not the kids failing, and not just "part of growing up." And that the mysterious secret stranger actually tells the protagonist to tell all her grown-ups everything, not to keep it secret, because adults who tell you to keep your relationship a secret are probably not the adults you should rely on. That's something that is REALLY REALLY IMPORTANT to teach a lot of kids (although probably more important to teach grownups), and I think the way MacDonald did it was a lot more emotionally real and with a lot more conviction than a lot of other people, especially modern kids' fantasy, where the parents not believing or not being told is either taken for granted or treated as harmless.

Also wow, you really couldn't get away with handing a character a LITERAL PLOT THREAD in a modern book...

Red Sonja

Mar. 23rd, 2017 02:52 pm
scaramouche: Vocal Adrenaline glee club from Glee, with "Bring It" in text (glee bring it)
[personal profile] scaramouche
It's been literally months since I came back from my London trip, but my stack of new media sitting in the middle of the floor of my room has barely shrunk. In fact, it's grown a little, thanks to the bunch of stuff I've been buying lately post-Rogue One. I know I should just put everything away, but I really do want to consume the DVDs and music at least once before shelving them.

I tried to start up again by watching Red Sonja (the movie version, with Brigitte Nielsen and Arnold's Conan expy). I've wanted a decent DVD version for some time now, and had held off getting one back when DVDs were still exciting and getting decent extras, but it's been too long of a wait for a special edition of some sort so I caved and got a basic version if only so I have the movie at all.

I did a rewatch and MAN OH MAN I forgot how much this movie did for my younger self's id. It's so aggressively eighties, with its style and special effects and earnest dialogue and matte paintings, plus Sandahl Bergman (who plays Queen Gedren) had a particular vocal quality that had me flashing back to the English dubbing of various cartoons and European films that I grew up with. I don't know whether it's the way she speaks as Gedren, or how her voice was recorded or what, but it pings a very specific sensory memory, it was most disconcerting.

Fresh-faced Brigitte Nielsen was also a delight, with her awkwardness working as a plus in selling the character to me as a child, though perhaps it comes off differently if I'd watched the movie for the first time as an adult. I'd also forgotten how non-subtextual Gedren's interest in Sonja was -- somehow I'd convinced myself that it was something I made up but, nope! Gedren really does want Sonja, just as it sounds. Tremendous.

(US) Political linkspam

Mar. 23rd, 2017 02:03 am
umadoshi: (Goku grumpy (psychodragon82))
[personal profile] umadoshi
I have to admit I'm glad to not be posting nearly as much US-centric political stuff, although I'm still reading and RTing a fair bit (and more than is comfortable for my anxiety). But here are some of the best pieces I've read over the past couple of weeks. 8 links )

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