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I'm crazy but I get the job done
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April 2014
 
 
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aliana1
aliana1
Aliana
Mon, Apr. 14th, 2014 01:35 pm
happy birthday, wheelrider!

In honor of your badass cycling expertise, here are some vintage pictures of awesome ladies being awesome with their awesome bikes, just like you but in The Past!

I love their sassy bike shorts/skirts.
more under the cut!Collapse )

I hope you have a wonderful day full of things you enjoy!

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aliana1
aliana1
Aliana
Mon, Apr. 14th, 2014 01:14 pm

Hi, huinare!  Oh, look at this!  Hannibal is so taken with your wit, charm and appreciation of life's abundant darkness that he has made you a birthday cake!

(The reason that it has no candles is that his specially-ordered shipment of handmade artisan wildflower beeswax candles from Switzerland did not arrive in time for your birthday, and Hannibal does not buy tacky wax striped birthday candles from Walgreens, because what is he, some kind of philistine?)

He swears up and down that the cake is NOT people, and that in this case, the phrase "made with the blood of your enemies" is PURELY METAPHORICAL.  Of course we trust this guy about as far as we can throw him, so between you and me, you should probably stick to just the wine.  Still, it's the thought that counts, right?

Happy birthday!

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Current Location: Hannibal's house, Baltimore

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aliana1
aliana1
Aliana
Mon, Apr. 14th, 2014 12:50 pm

Hope your birthday was great, blslarner!

Here are some flowers I "e-picked" for you on my walk this morning. :)

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Aliana
Fri, Apr. 11th, 2014 03:12 pm
happy birthday heartofoshun

Many felicitations from the Gateway of India, Oshun!  Here is "Happy Birthday" in the three main languages of Mumbai: Hindi, Marathi, and English!  Hope you have a fantastic day.

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Aliana
Fri, Feb. 14th, 2014 11:05 pm

If anyone else happens to be watching House of Cards, please let me know so that we can revel in the OMGWTAF-ery together.  (The "A" stands for "actual," as in WHAT THE ACTUAL F*CK JUST HAPPENED?)

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aliana1
Aliana
Thu, Feb. 6th, 2014 11:03 pm

Have started several abortive posts this week, mostly about work and so probably not terribly interesting to anyone except me and possibly my parents, who at any rate are not on LiveJournal (that I know of).

However this is more entertaining.  (It is yesterday's Dinosaur Comic by the awesome Ryan North.  For those of you who are uninitiated, North has been cranking out comics with the exact same MS Paint images for the last ten years or so, and they have probably covered every topic known to mankind and are consistently funnier than like 90% of the stuff I read):

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aliana1
aliana1
Aliana
Sun, Jan. 26th, 2014 03:52 pm

During the Fandom Snowflake Challenge, huinare asked the important question (and I paraphrase), "WHERE IS MY FANFIC HOLODECK YO?!"

To which the New York Times' tech blog answers, "2024 BABY!!  THAT STAR TREK SHIT ALL UP IN THE HOUSE!" (I am also paraphrasing).

This is all part of a quest by computer companies, Hollywood and video game makers to move entertainment closer to reality — or at least a computer-generated version of reality. Rather than simply watch movies, the thinking goes, we could become part of the story. We could see people and things moving around our living rooms. The actors could talk to us. Gamers who today slouch on the couch could step inside their games. They could pick up a computer-simulated bat in computer-simulated Yankee Stadium while a computer-simulated crowd roared around them...

“Eventually, wallpaper will become intelligent and we will paper over our entire living room with intelligent paper, surrounding and immersing ourselves with 3-D images,” said Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist.

Naturally, the blog entry closes with a bit of cautionary speculation that people might prefer to live in the virtual world to living in the real one (though one could also argue that there are plenty of people like this already, even without holodeck technology) by citing a relevant example from Star Trek: The Next Generation:

In one episode, Lt. Reginald Barclay becomes dependent on computer-generated versions of his colleagues for friendships, preferring virtual relationships to real ones. He ultimately requires therapy from Lt. Cmdr. Deanna Troi, the ship’s counselor, to wean himself off the simulations and back to everyday life.

(As a side note, I think one of my favorite aspects of ST:TNG has always been that they have a psychotherapist who plays an integral part of the show and SITS ON THE BRIDGE with the captain and the navigation and communications personnel. Watching it growing up, I never really questioned this; like, of course they have a counselor sitting in the command center, why wouldn't they?)

Anyway, holodecks.  Dropping in ten years.  Mark your calendars.

***

Also, HUGE thanks to just_ann_now for introducing me to the completely delightful and uncharacterizable podcast, Welcome to Night Vale.  (My hipster cred is ever so slightly wounded at not having discovered this gem before it apparently blew up and became the biggest thing ever, but better late than never I suppose!)  I binged on all the episodes over the past week and am now kind of bummed that I have to wait for the next one like everybody else!

As Ann has mentioned (also during the Snowflake Challenge), WtNV has spawned a particularly creative fandom with a huge amount of output in fic, art, etc.  Part of this is undoubtedly due to the fact that the Podcast's format is a "primary source"--it takes the form of biweekly community radio updates from a small desert town with hilariously Lovecraftian overtones (the public library's summer reading program degenerates into a bloodbath, there is a Forbidden Dog Park, and the two mayoral candidates are The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your House, and Hiram McDaniels, who is literally a five-headed dragon).  I think this makes it a lot more fun and easy to engage with, than, say, if it were a collection of short stories about the same subject matter.  It's also generated a bunch of really pretty awesome realia merchandise.  My personal favorites are the Night Vale NRA bumper stickers:



(Also, Night Vale contains what is probably one of the best portrayals of gay characters and a gay relationship I've ever encountered in mass media, mainly because the fact that they're gay is never remarked upon, and is completely incidental to everything else.  I mean, how couldn't it be?)

So, if you haven't done so already, do yourself a favor and give Night Vale a visit!

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Aliana
Mon, Jan. 20th, 2014 04:06 pm

Chapter 8, "Camp-follower" || AO3
Characters: See summary.
Rating: General
Warnings: Nothing you didn't do in tenth grade.
Summary: Valacar cuts his apprentice some slack; Beren's back in town, and he's got a proposition.

This installment is brought to you by the letter A (for "awkward silences"), and the sound of crickets chirping. Like the last one, this one was also fairly tough to write, mostly because dialogue, and took me longer than it should have.

Trivia fact! Beren did not have a name, either in the text or in my head, until after making several appearances in Fallen. Outside of the story, I referred to him as "Love Interest Guy" (much in the spirit of "Creepy Guy" and, later, "Rohirric Guy." My creativity, it knows no bounds.)

"Beren will walk me home, tonight," I informed Valacar.Collapse )

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Current Location: Houses of Healing

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aliana1
Aliana
Thu, Jan. 16th, 2014 08:06 pm


Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner

Day 15: In your own space, create your own challenge. What’s something you want to see more people doing in fandom? Is there something fun you’ve tried that you think other people would enjoy if they gave it a go? Dare your friends to try it out, and have fun with it. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

Sad it's over. It's been fun to rain down the fandom love like confetti!

Several people have let me know that they'd be willing to take on another Bechdel Test Challenge, and that warms my li'l feminist fangirl heart! However, there's also a consensus that it's probably won't be a good idea to do it until April, because B2MeM, of course. So for the moment we'll be taking a raincheck on that.

Several of you have also challenged and encouraged everyone to read and review more, which I fully endorse and will try really hard to be better about! A great and worthy challenge for sure, for reasons that have been stated very well.

On a related note, I'd also like to challenge everyone (myself included) to talk a little more about your writing process, when updating, SSPing, or just because. How do you like to go about doing research? Which types of things are the easiest and most fun for you to write? Which are more challenging? Which make you want to bang your head against the wall? What are the things that make you comfortable and uncomfortable when it comes to writing and reading?

Personally, I find these conversations just really interesting in their own right. They can also help out when we're feeling like we're stuck on a particular scene or plot point, and they can also be tremendously vindicating ("Yes! I'm so glad I'm not the only one who has a tough-ass time writing detailed intercultural/equestrian dialogue/sex/gardening/etc!"). Finally, I also find that as a reader, they help me give more detailed feedback, because I can respond directly to what the writer is most concerned about, proud of, or spent the most time and effort on.

And thank you, everyone. I've really loved reading your snowflake posts!

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aliana1
Aliana
Wed, Jan. 15th, 2014 10:05 pm


Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner

Day 14: In your own space, write a love letter. Write it Fandom in general, to a particular fandom, to a trope, a relationship, a character, or to your flist. Share you love and squee as loud as you want to.

To my dear Tolkien fandom people:

Have you ever read a book, and when it was over, you just kind of wanted to crawl in between the pages and never leave, ever? Have you ever wanted to spend all of your time with imaginary people who might as well be real, for the space they seem to take up in your brain and your heart and all the times they've possibly made you cry? Like, actually really cry, to an extent that may or may not be embarrassing? Of course you have, because you're in fandom.

Well, here's the thing: crawling between the pages and chilling with those real imaginary people is all good for a time, but after a while you want to share your heart-melting white-hot love with other people who have the same thing going on. Like, real-real people, as opposed to real-imaginary people. So that you can go on and on together, knowing they'll understand where other people wouldn't get it, knowing you've got at least some of the same weird obsessions and in-jokes, and that you can compare the pictures you've got in your head. And where before, you were sitting by yourself in this (admittedly kind of awesome) sandbox, you've now got an army of other kids with pails and shovels. You've got turrets. You've got drawbridges. You've got a motherfucking moat. And at the end of the day, you can kick it all down and then build it up again, even better than before.

So thank you all for being my real-real people in this super-amazing sandbox. Thank you for sharing your amazing writing and art. Thank you for all the support, for indulging me in my flights of fancy and occasional grad-school-related meltdowns. Thank you for the sense of safety and inclusion you've given me, to the extent where I can do things like dress up like Silmarillion characters, and write sci-fi femslash stories that are full of swears, and rewrite Lord of the Rings scenes as if they were parts of a Wes Anderson movie. I've met some of you in person, which is awesome, and others of you, I feel as I may as well know in "real life" even if we've never met face to face. You've given me a wonderful outlet in which creativity and art is a part of my everyday life, even when I'm largely doing statistics and trying to figure out how long I can make this bag of store-brand rice last. You have all given me the space and the enthusiasm to feel like I'm actually kind of living the adventure. And we are.

All my love,
Aliana

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aliana1
Aliana
Tue, Jan. 14th, 2014 08:56 pm

Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner
Day 13: In your own space, talk about setting yourself a fannish goal. Big or small, it doesn't matter. Some great examples include: complete a bingo, sign-up for a Big Bang, write that fic you've been thinking about for years, podfic that story that you love, make a fanmix for your fandom, post that bit of meta or reclist you keep postponing. Maybe resolve to be better at leaving feedback, or answering comments.

First, and the most important to me: Read, comment, repeat. Haven't been very good at this for at least the past year or so, even though it's so important to me. The best thing about fandom is that it's an exchange, and I want to really hold up my end as a reader--a "good" reader--as well as a writer. Also, for the selfish reason that there's a lot of good stuff I'm missing out on.

This goes with the previous one: be a champion reviewer at the ToME awards(!)

Keep plugging away at WiP of the moment. (How to be Good)  And also write my B2MeM piece.  And when I'm done with that, write the backstory of Valacar and Fíriel and their epic teenage bromance.

Record a podfic. Seems like fun.

Host another Bechdel challenge, if peeps want to do it again.

Speaking of challenges, I also just had a very possibly crackish idea for a challenge based on Tolkien's abortive 13-page Lord of the Rings sequel, The New Shadow.  What if we got a whole bunch of together and wrote our own version(s) of the book JRRT thought was "too sinister and depressing" to finish?  Because Valar know we've never let "sinister" or "depressing" get in our way, before.  I'm thinking lots of anachronism, multimedia, post-modernist cracked-out meta fun.  Hmmm...

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Aliana
Mon, Jan. 13th, 2014 11:10 pm

Chapter 7, "Water" || AO3
Characters: Narrator and Fíriel
Rating: General
Warnings: None.
Summary: The things we talk about when we talk about PTSD.

As summer wore on, the nightmares started again.Collapse )

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Current Location: Pelennor Fields

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Aliana
Mon, Jan. 13th, 2014 08:20 pm

Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner
Day 12: In your own space, talk about what you think the future holds for fandom. What are your hopes and dreams for fandom? Do you have any predictions about what the next five years holds for fandom?

A lot of you on my friends list have already said some very great, astute things about Teh Future: about fanfic losing its negative connotations as "derivative," about getting more "mainstream" recognition. So I'll try not to be too repetitive here...

Fandom: Now more multi-media, crowd-sourced-tastic! Even over just the last five years or so, it's been really cool to see creative technologies get cheaper and more accessible--not just for fan-artists, of course, but for everyone. At the same time, the rise of crowdsourcing has made the funding process for expensive projects more democratic. I will always be devoted to plain old reliable text writing, of course, but I'm also looking forward to seeing more fanvids, podfics, fanfic movies, etc.

Fandom: somewhat more diverse, maybe? I love that people are having more conversations about gender, sexuality, race, religion and class in fandom. It's my hope that we keep having these conversations, and that they can help all of us add new perspectives to our reading, our writing and our general outlook on life. I also hope that we keep seeing more characters in fandom and fanfic of different sexual orientations, ethnicities, gender identities, etc. (Even, and especially, in the Tolkien fandom, where this can prove more challenging for a number of reasons.)

Fandom: still here, still awesome. Yep, not a whole lot to add to that. We're not going anywhere, you can count on that.

And one day the Tolkien Estate's copyright will expire and we can start making some money on this sh*t.

Kidding!  Kidding.

mostly.

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Aliana
Sun, Jan. 12th, 2014 07:28 pm

Prompt claims went up today for this year's B2MeM, which I am super excited about.  As usual, dawn_felagund and her cohort of volunteers have been/are/will be putting in a huge amount of time and effort to make sure that the event is a well-organized and fun fandom experience.  They're doing it a little differently than they have in the past years, with a compilation format, wherein each day has a prompt, and a new piece of writing and artwork based on that prompt will be "revealed" every day.  If you've not signed up yet, I definitely encourage you to participate!

Aaaanyway, I saw that there was a prompt to create a fanwork based on Simon and Garfunkel's April Come She Will, and immediately jumped for it because I love S&G, and I love that song, and I love writing fics inspired by songs, et cetera.  I'd seen that prompts seemed to be going fast, and I wasn't sure how many people had signed up before me, so I wasn't really sure if I would get the prompt.  But lo and behold, I got it!  And...lo and behold, I didn't really register this initially, but it's THE VERY LAST PROMPT.  Like, the last thing in a whole month of fan writing and art.  And, just looking at the people who've already claimed prompts, I am going to have some hard acts to follow.  I know it's not in ANY WAY a competition, but FEELING SOME PRESSURE HERE ALREADY because I feel like I owe it to my fandom peeps to produce something that's enjoyable for everyone and that I can feel really proud of.  Probably overthinking this already, like two months in advance, but THERE IT IS.

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aliana1
aliana1
Aliana
Sat, Jan. 11th, 2014 06:36 pm

Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner
Day 10: In your own space, create a list of at least three fannish things you'd love to receive, something you've wanted but were afraid to ask for - a fannish wish-list of sorts. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your wish-list if you feel comfortable doing so. Maybe someone will grant a wish. Check out other people's posts. Maybe you will grant a wish. If any wishes are granted, we'd love it if you link them to this post.

Ooh, this seems like a fun one!

I have a few different types of wishes, but mostly, like everyone else's, they all seem to come down to interaction. Between writers and readers (because we are all both these things), between fans of different backgrounds and viewpoints, between me and people I'd like to get to know better.

Visual. When it comes to creativity, I'm not a particularly visual person--either in thinking about things, or artistic talent. I love seeing other's people's artistic visions of our favorite source works and fanworks. In addition to original artwork, I also like hearing about other people's fancastings for source- and fan-works. Like most all writers, I also get pretty excited about the idea of people doing artwork based on my stuff.

Audio. I also love soundtracks, and getting other people's soundtrack recommendations. What music goes through your head while reading and writing certain scenes? Do you have a fic (yours or someone else's) which would be fun to put together a soundtrack for? I'm also inordinately fond of reading aloud (I blame my time as a teacher) and I think it would be fun to record a podfic sometime, if authors and listeners don't cringe at my American midwestern accent. ;)

Play with me. I would also like to interact with more people directly through fiction--swapping original characters, remixes, co-authoring, being silly. I have tremendous fun with this kind of thing.

Talk to me. One of the things I've really been bad at these past few years, is not keeping up with other people's writing. Would especially love recommendations for fics based on my new TV obsessions: Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, Broadchurch, Ripper Street (Yes. I watch a lot of TV.) I also love having meta-conversations about issues big or small in literature and fandom, especially gender and sexuality, economics and politics.

(And, like all fan-writers, I love being read and reviewed, too.)

In sum: interaction. The whole point of fandom, and the best part, imo.

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