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~all around me darkness gathers~ ~fading is the sun that shone~ ~we must speak of other matters~ ~you can be me when i'm gone~ ((All of this has happened before)) ((All of this has happened before))
God bless the rain, and the rainclouds that bring it. God bless the music, and the voices that sing it. God bless the ones who sing everything wrong. God bless all creatures who do not belong.

If you're here for my fanfiction, fan art/graphics, and reviews or stray thoughts about fiction and media, have no fear: it's all unlocked and anyone is free to friend this journal with or without asking first.
If you'd also like access to my personal blog, containing travel diary entries, pictures of my pets, and (potentially) original art and fiction, comment here. Off-duty superheroes get in after hours.
Received 35 Ultimas! ~*~ Draw
I'm back! Recovering seems to be taking longer than it usually does because the traveling on Sunday was rough and we came back to a lot of things that need immediate attention (I don't even have my evil noisy burd back yet. HANG IN THERE, FAMILY). But now I crave fandom and internet and you lovelies.

Tonight I think is all booked up by burd retrieval, apologizing to family on his behalf, and buying a better vacuum cleaner, but tomorrow I may go wild and turn on my home computer. Until then, some quick notes on what I want to talk to the internet about, which mostly boils down to SDCC announcements:

American Gods
Wonder Woman
Captain Marvel
All the Netflix MCU, all of it, all of it
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Agents of SHIELD
John Barrowman dressed as Squirrel Girl, if I can find that picture again
Some movies I watched on the plane
Pokemon Go
A musical I saw
Game of Thrones S4
The comic book character on my shirt recognized by a security agent in DUB
The usual stuff

Tell me if I'm forgetting anything. Or maybe I didn't mention it because I haven't heard about it yet! In which case, yes, I would like to hear about it. The end of my biggest vacation of the year means woe and I don't need to tell you about the depressing state of the world today, so cheer is more welcome than ever.

All Places Are Alike to Me: at work
Mad-Eye: groggy groggy

Received 4 Ultimas! ~*~ Draw
An interview with BKV right when I needed one.

A few quotes I want to hang onto and mull over:

But yeah, I think it’s always harder for artists. Their job is several times more difficult than a writer’s. It’s physically demanding and it just takes more time. For a page that a writer could dash off in an hour, it’s gonna be a day or two of an artist’s life, and I think they’ve always been taken for granted.

The dichotomy of artist and writer in the creation of a comic book has always fascinated me, because I wanted to be both. Over the years I've swung more in the direction of writing but I still agree with BKV here 100%.

There is no good that comes from dwelling on your own stuff. You just gotta be like a shark and keep moving forward.

Hard lesson. I go back and read my own writing alllll the time, and I think it's becoming harmful in the same way that my obsession with feedback is.

What’s the status of the Y: The Last Man film adaptation?
It’s actually over at FX right now, so it’s a television series. It’s very slowly coming to life. No news I can share, other than that it’s all chugging along happily.


But yeah, it was right away with Saga, and I think a lot of that is a credit to Fiona. This is a weird book. There’s a lot of bizarre, tough-to-swallow shit and Fiona makes it so accessible and inviting.

Fiona Staples is a truly astonishing artist, the best I've ever seen in comics. Most series that are published in an indefinite run have a revolving door of artists, which is usually a fantastic benefit because you get to see all kinds of interpretations of the characters, adding unexpected depths to the story. This one? I don't think there's anyone else out there whose art would be worth losing Fiona Staples for even a page.

I just feel like artists have a responsibility to be good. That said, I think it’s much harder to be good without trying to reflect some aspect of the real world, and the real world has never been just a straight, white guy world.

Concise. Accurate.

It almost baffles me that people are so concerned about comics being adapted into a TV show or a movie, as though it means comics are just a glorified blueprint for something else.

I remember hearing that he always intended Saga to be something that couldn't be adapted to the screen, which I really respect. Superheroes and even stories like Sandman came into being because they only worked in one medium, and at the time, I'm sure nobody was anticipating the way that technology would eventually change that. Now that superheroes have been so thoroughly mined for movies and TV, Sandman and its like probably aren't far behind, and that's an unhappy thought - just because it works doesn't mean it works well. So it's a relief knowing that Saga will always be as it is now.

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All Places Are Alike to Me: at work
Mad-Eye: pleased pleased

Received 12 Ultimas! ~*~ Draw
Chapter Title: If You Ever Need a Helping Hand
Author: Kairos
Fandom: Guardians of the Galaxy
Wordcount: This part, 2857
Rating: General/Teen
Notes: We're back! To make up for the delay, this one has a special guest appearance.

Quick recap (as an additional apology for the delay): The team has dropped Groot off on a garden planet so he can heal, with Drax staying at his side as a protector. Although Rocket planned to stay as well, Groot wouldn't allow it, and now Peter and Gamora are taking him to a medical specialist to see to his own injuries. Nobody on the Milano is feeling that good about the situation.

How did you turn out so...normal?Collapse )

Previous chapter.

Mad-Eye: relieved relieved
The Glue of the World: still The Witcher

Received 2 Ultimas! ~*~ Draw
Tomorrow is Independence Day, one of my favorites. I like being patriotic to the tune of mindless fun and lots of explosions.

Twenty years ago (and I'm crying because I'm so old), I went to the movies and saw Independence Day starring Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith. It was awesome. It was mindless fun. There were lots of explosions, and the POTUS gave an immortal speech about how we're going to defeat all the aliens because we're Americans dammit and for the sake of morale so is everyone else. For some reason, I got the novelization for Christmas that year (one of two such movie books I can recall reading in my life; the other was Ferngully), and it wasn't half bad.

I loved Independence Day. I couldn't wait to see it again. I'm not sure why I never did, except that the last twenty years (so old) have gradually replaced my eagerness to watch movies with the ready availability of the movies I used to want to watch.

Anyway, I figured that all ended up working out pretty well, because I could hang onto that lovely memory of an action movie that may or may not have actually merited my enjoyment of it when I stepped into the theater twenty years (old and brittle, weeping for the past) later to watch Independence Day: Resurgence. I can't remember what day of the year it was the first time, but today is July 3rd, which is darn close to the day itself so that's pretty cool, right?

Please take heed. Learn from my mistakes. I care about you.

INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE IS A PIECE OF CRAP. The same president was back, but he didn't even make me feel patriotic! There's a new president and she makes you want to slap her! Chris Hemsworth's little bro is in it and I feel so so bad that his career has taken this turn. Someone saves a dog, but it's a stupid little dog! There isn't even a national monument blown up to pay tribute to the iconic White House scene! There is a hive queen alien the size of a neighborhood block who prances through the desert chasing a school bus like a giant spider-pony.

That last one wasn't actually a complaint, but just trust me, this movie is really bad. You know how sometimes you go to a cheesy blockbuster movie expecting it to be so bad it's good, and then it's just really bad and you feel all sour and cheated afterward?

....Surprise. This wasn't that. I feel great. I watched a stupid alien movie and I feel great.

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

Mad-Eye: amused amused
The Glue of the World: The Witcher

Received 7 Ultimas! ~*~ Draw
Write some B/A fic totaling at least 5000 words: Worked on it.
Complete a fic of any length for the GotG fandom: Worked on it, but didn't complete a chapter. Ouch!

Original fiction:
Complete my original short story "Retronym": Named the characters! Well, that was a long time coming.

Draw centaur porn: Finished the linework. Speak now and you can help choose their colors. :)
Use my sewing machine: Wham!

Finish a book a month: Dracula by Bram Stoker.
Finish the Age of Apocalypse event before the movie: Yup, and in the end, it wasn't worth it. I'm cancelling my MU subscription until I start feeling enthused about X-Men again.
Get a Wheel of Time refresher: Retrieved my copy of The Eye of the World from my parents' house. The receipt was still in there, from like 2002 or something. <3
Read one poem every night before going to sleep: Doing okay with this.

Catch up on Game of Thrones: Purchased Season 4 and watched most of it.

Nothing this month.

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All Places Are Alike to Me: at work
Mad-Eye: optimistic optimistic

Received 31 Ultimas! ~*~ Draw
I put off writing a post on this because I wanted it to be more of a "Squee! Character analysis! Theories!" thing, and so far I'm not quite feeling that. Instead it's mostly going to consist of examining why I don't love this series as much as I wanted to.

(Note I'm not saying I don't love it. Just not as much as I wanted to. My standards are pretty high and I'm factoring that in.)

Basically, I'm not sure if the series itself isn't doing it for me, or if it's genre fatigue, or if I'm just irked by listening instead of reading. Even though I'm on Grave Peril now which means I've been at it for a fair number of hours, in my own view I'm still pretty new to audiobooks. My mind wanders a lot, especially on a bike ride, and I keep losing my place and having to go back. Even then, it's entirely possible that I've missed some really important stuff which would have completely changed my outlook. The narration is great (hi Spike!), but it takes some effort for me to separate the voice from the story; the characters all end up sounding the same, and since it's first person and Dresden already has a bit of a magical PI thing going on, the noir aspect is emphasized too much for my tastes and makes me wish for visuals to go with it.

And as far as the magical PI thing goes, that might also fall under genre fatigue. I like urban fantasy and I can't really remember the last time I read a book in the genre, but it's all the heck over TV, and part of me kind of prefers it that way. There's never all that much variation in the setting; the devices in play are cool because they look cool. I don't particularly love werewolves, vampires, demonic intervention, or the Masquerade for their own sake, so if I'm going to fall for a story that uses them, it's going to have to do something new and unexpected. Either that, or just be a really, really good story that happens to use the urban fantasy backdrop.

I don't want to make it sound like I've already encountered every idea that the series uses, but generally, the encounters with the supernatural tend to follow a set sequence: introduction of a familiar bit of mythology, exposition on how it differs or doesn't from common belief, and Harry employing his occult power to use it or deal with it as needed. The last thing to pique my interest was the invitation rule, because I love the invitation rule and I've never seen it apply in various degrees, and to characters other than vampires. But that's a pretty small thing when the worldbuilding is so integral. It doesn't help that the narration is prone to "I'm a wizard" and "See, magic is...", which would be exciting things to hear if one believed in wizards or cared about learning a new magic system.

But the point is that the urban fantasy elements and the worldbuilding might be someone else's favorite thing just like me and the invitation rule (or, you know, if a telepathic griffin showed up or something). So I'm chalking all of this up to genre fatigue, or a trope distinction I've been thinking about: What's the difference between a wizard and a superhero? I actually thought about asking that question in its own entry, because it's not rhetorical, I really am interested in your answer. So if you care to, stop and think about it and tell me your conclusion before you continue on to mine.

A superhero has a limited number of trademark abilities, which are more or less static. A wizard (or witch, sorcerer, mage, etc.) can cast a spell for any purpose. It turns out I like superheroes more than wizards, which feels odd because I was a voracious reader of fantasy novels long before I ever picked up a Marvel comic. But with superheroes there's more dependence on a team of varied talents, and fewer openings for a deus ex machina. Or I just like designing characters based on one weird thing they can do that nobody else can do. So maybe this isn't genre fatigue, but it might be a little bit of genre indifference.

Evidence toward me just not liking the books/author is harder to pin down and perhaps nonexistent. I like the characters well enough, but I'm not that attached to any of them, with the possible future exception of Michael Carpenter once I see a bit more of him. I appreciate the humor though it hasn't made me laugh out loud yet. The writing style may not be especially quotable, but it's solid.

I guess all I'm saying is I need more time. If I'm still ambivalent after five books, I'll ask for incentive to carry on but probably won't give up. If I start to get the feeling that the problem is with listening, I'll try cracking an actual book.

All Places Are Alike to Me: at work
Mad-Eye: cynical cynical

Received 6 Ultimas! ~*~ Draw

Hotels on Broadway and Park Place, baby, watch out for me.

All Places Are Alike to Me: at work
Mad-Eye: accomplished accomplished

Received 16 Ultimas! ~*~ Draw
1.) The story is told entirely through the format of letters and diary entries from various characters, plus the occasional news article.

2.) Van Helsing doesn't show up until a quarter of the way through. He's described as an old man, a professor and doctor, but he's the keeper of all the vampire lore that isn't acquired directly during the story's action.

3.) First stake through the heart, then chop off the head, then fill the mouth with garlic. Oh, and trim the stake so the tip stays in there. Yeah, you're gonna need to open up a coffin for this to work. The most useful thing for a vampire hunter to have on hand? Eucharist.

4.) If there's a main character, it's Mina Harker. She ends up carrying the team a lot, but doesn't seem to hold it against them.

5.) Aside from Dracula, Van Helsing, and the Harkers, there are a few other characters and I'd never heard of them. One is American!

6.) It's not scary, but honestly, most books aren't, are they? I never really read much horror so maybe I'm missing something. In any case, a couple significant character deaths do happen, and for its time, I imagine this was seen as gripping and terrible.

7.) This quote: "I have a kind of belief in a Winchester when there is any trouble of that sort around." Yeah yeah, you know the kind of Winchester he meant, but it made me smile.

8.) Also this quote: "Whilst they played wits against me, against me who commanded nations, and intrigued for them, and fought for them, hundreds of years before they were born, I was countermining them." See, here it occurred to me that I've never actually seen a screen adaptation of the original Dracula, because I recognized this line from its bastardization in, you guessed it, the movie that Billy Fordham lip-syncs to in "Lie to Me."

9.) The name of Vlad Țepeș doesn't appear. Wikipedia says that Stoker might not have even known the legend that well, and that he just liked the moniker "Count Dracula."

10.) Not only can he turn into a wolf (or bat, mist, etc.), but he has the power to command wolves. There aren't any wild ones on hand in England, so he goes to the zoo to recruit. That was my favorite part.

If you decide to read this book, it will probably be for the same reasons I did and not based on anyone's recommendation, but for whatever it's worth, I'd encourage you to go for it. The great thing is that, whatever classic status it's achieved over the decades, it was written for cheap thrills, and fun is fun.

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All Places Are Alike to Me: at work
Mad-Eye: predatory predatory

Received 7 Ultimas! ~*~ Draw
I should have bought or otherwise found a way to listen to Hamilton: an American Musical as soon as I started hearing about it, but even if I had I doubt I ever would have managed to get tickets back when it was possible. So I'm late to the game as usual, but as for a live performance, we'll call this one a maybe someday.

Spoiler alert: America wins the Revolutionary War.Collapse )

Anyone else like musicals? Anyone else like this one?

All Places Are Alike to Me: in the greatest city in the world!
Mad-Eye: I am not throwin' away my shot
The Glue of the World: the world turned upside down

Received 8 Ultimas! ~*~ Draw
I'm back on the Daredevil train, slowly working my way through the second season for the second time. Considering that I watched the first season three times within the first couple months it aired and still craved it, I'm kind of sad that the magic apparently isn't there anymore, but it might not be the show's fault.

Just finished the first full Elektra episode.Collapse )

All Places Are Alike to Me: at work
Mad-Eye: annoyed annoyed

Received 2 Ultimas! ~*~ Draw
Just one thought about S3, and nope, it"s not about the Red Wedding.Collapse )

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Mad-Eye: aggravated aggravated
The Glue of the World: TMBG - I Should Be Allowed to Think

I doubt spoilers would really be an issue for anyone reading this but it"s a matter of form.Collapse )

As for that domestic harmony, my box set of GoT S4 just arrived, and that's the first season with episodes I haven't yet seen. WHOSE SHOW WILL PREVAIL?

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All Places Are Alike to Me: at work
Mad-Eye: okay okay

Received 10 Ultimas! ~*~ Draw
I'm listening to a Dresden Files book about werewolves, and I'm writing a fanfic about werewolves.

I'm reading Dracula by Bram Stoker, and I'm always writing a fanfic about vampires.

The last book I finished was about a scientist trying to turn animals into humans through painful surgical procedures. It came up randomly on my "read next" list, but coincided with my fanfic about Rocket's origins.

Come to think of it, the Age of Apocalypse comic event has an arc about experimentation that combines human and animal genes, and so does Gargoyles.

And then there's Supernatural, which basically has an episode on every fantasy/sci-fi trope ever invented.

Not really trying to figure out what this says about me or the media I tend to consume, but I do want to keep writing. Sometimes when I'm stuck, I realize that I just need to change gears and work on a different story. Sometimes that just leaves me staring blankly at a different open doc. How do I know which solution to use and how does inspiration enter it?

Also I've been making a concerted effort to only watch TV when I really feel like it, and only shows I really want to watch right at that moment. (Adventure Time and now Animaniacs are the rulebreakers, since I feel okay leaving the room to do something else and missing bits.) Hence, dropping my second viewing of Daredevil S2 a few episodes in. For some reason I'm playing FFVIII again. That seems somehow like it's part of the same puzzle.

Anyway, there are a few stories/writing projects I really want to finish or to just keep up the momentum. I don't think Daredevil is part of the inspiration for any of them.

I was going to spend this weekend in DC but plans changed and now I have a weekend at home by myself instead. I think I may use it to finish my Daredevil S2 rewatch.

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All Places Are Alike to Me: at work
Mad-Eye: pensive pensive

Received 26 Ultimas! ~*~ Draw

Add a chapter to "Older" per the challenge I set on Day 6: I DID THIS HAHAHAHAHA
Write some B/A fic totaling at least 5000 words: Around 3k - it'll be a long time before it reaches the light of day even after I get through the 5k mark for this one, but let me tell you I am glad to be dusting it off.
Complete a fic of any length for the GotG fandom: Worked on it, posted one chapter. Currently on a break but probably not for much longer.

Original fiction:

Finish writing the first arc of my superhero comic: Wrote, like, a paragraph.


Draw centaur porn: Went back to that old sketch, it's not getting any better, but I don't need it to really.
Use my sewing machine: Cut out the pattern and started sewing! ...Is the good news. The bad news is that this is harder than I remember and I'm discouraged by how much I suck at it.


Finish a book a month: The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells. Probably one of my favorites from him! Also coincided nicely with "Brace for Impact", what with the unethical experimentation topic.
Finish the Age of Apocalypse event before the movie: I decided I don't need to see this one in the theater, so the deadline is moot, but I'm still reading and it's still pretty okay.
Read one poem every night before going to sleep: Back on it with fair reliability. Over halfway done with the Frost collection.


Catch up on Game of Thrones: Finished S3. Sadly, Mr. Kairos's interest has waned again, and he's making me watch the first season of Breaking Bad before we continue on to S4.


Nothing this month.

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All Places Are Alike to Me: at work
Mad-Eye: busy busy

Received 6 Ultimas! ~*~ Draw
The other day I took a Buzzfeed quiz on which Civil War team you are, which gives basically the same result as flipping a coin but kills more time. I got Team Iron Man, and the description started with something like "You take responsibility for your actions," which made me double-take. I had actually thought that would describe Team Cap.

Filed it away until earlier today, I read a comment on a blog post by someone who said she preferred Spike to Angel because he took responsibility for his actions. I thought wait wait wait, that's why I prefer Angel to Spike. Don't try to find the post; it was a few years old and not on LJ, but now I'm interested in probing that idea to find connections.

When Team Cheekbones says that Spike takes responsibility, they mean that he accepts that he's the same person with or without a soul, right? There's no, "That wasn't me, it was him." But Angel, who refers to Angelus as a different entity, is still working on cleaning up the mess regardless of who made it. What's it really mean to hold yourself accountable? Accept the blame and carry on, or shun authority and shoulder the load? Is there even a right way to look at it?

No secret of course that I'm Team Forehead all the way, but as for Steve and Tony, I still haven't really chosen a side. That's perplexing, and it's why I haven't said much about the movie yet, and it's also what I liked best about it. After Tony relayed the grieving mother's story to the Avengers, it seemed cut and dry; his argument wins because it's the one that's holding a photo of an innocent dead teenager. He says he wants supervision so that the team's vast collective power will be under control, and that makes sense.

Except that whoever controls the power gets the blame for the mistakes. There really isn't any reason to believe that there will be fewer casualties once the UN is in charge of deploying the Avengers; those casualties will just be someone else's fault. Tony's got good reason to look for guidance from an outside source, but Steve's going to feel worse about the conflict he didn't try to stop than the one he couldn't stop.

In place of a conclusion, here's the best thing I've read so far on Civil War. I take no responsibility for any of the sentiments expressed.

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Mad-Eye: tired tired
The Glue of the World: Deus Ex

Received 7 Ultimas! ~*~ Draw
Title: Older
Author: Kairos
Wordcount: This part, 3167
Disclaimer: Everything belongs to Boss Whedon.
Notes: BECAUSE RETRO CHALLENGE IS WHY! That's right! I said I was gonna add a chapter to "Older" this year and I JUST DID! I did it for the Retro Challenge! You can too! Taaroko already did, even though she didn't know it.

*ahem* So, if you're wondering what's going on here, and who'd blame you, this is a story that I began writing somewhere around seven years ago, an AU in which the characters are all one year older than in canon. It was last updated in the neighborhood of two years ago. But by gum, I'm still writing it.

If you want to give it a look, start here or here. The whole thing is posted under the "older'verse" tag, or you can read it on Ao3 or FF.net. Helpful note: not all the chapters are this godawful long. Apparently I'm too rusty to be succinct.

I take credit for Dru, but when did YOU go insane?Collapse )

Previous chapter.

Mad-Eye: crazy crazy
The Glue of the World: Nina Simone - Either Way I Lose

Received 6 Ultimas! ~*~ Draw
I want the world to know that Squirrel Girl is eligible for the MCU:

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Mad-Eye: silly silly
The Glue of the World: Moulin Rouge - Your Song

Received 2 Ultimas! ~*~ Draw
I had just barely heard rumors about the Preacher TV series, and suddenly there's a trailer.

This has serious potential to be an amazing show, based on some excellent writing, and I have no interest whatsoever in watching it.

Look, they're going to tell you it's unlike anything you've ever seen before, but it's not. Urban fantasy is our new base layer, and pop theology is its biggest sub-genre. If you haven't had enough gore, bleakness, and blasphemy played as humor, by all means dig in. I wasn't kidding about the excellent writing, and Cassidy is one of the best modern vampire characters out there.

Just remember, when you realize it's The Walking Dead with angels, Kairos told you so.

It's kind of awesome that Raina from AoS is Tulip, though. Okay. So that's one kind of awesome thing.

In other "small-screen budget special effects caught up to the stuff I read as a teenager" news, American Gods is getting a series, too.

Maybe I'm a hypocrite, because a lot of the same elements I was just complaining about are there, but this one's kind of exciting. I don't know this guy, but he's a hunka hunka burning something or other, and as soon as I laid eyes on him I thought, yep, that's Shadow.

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All Places Are Alike to Me: at work
Mad-Eye: restless restless

Received 14 Ultimas! ~*~ Draw
Very slight spoilers for one early scene in Civil War.Collapse )

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Mad-Eye: hungry hungry
The Glue of the World: Bob Marley - Exodus

Received 8 Ultimas! ~*~ Draw