frith_in_thorns: (DW Rise)
Now that I'm back from holiday in the wild reaches of the Cotswolds (well, kind of excessively civilised really) and about to head off to a New Year party, let's do this!

2016 )
frith_in_thorns: (Oxford)
Wow I am so tired how do I even internet. But tomorrow is the last day of term! I feel like singing ONE DAY MORE over and over except I literally have no idea of any of the other words or tune and the only reason I even know it exists is because my wife-to-be is sadly obsessed with Les Mis and reads all the weird AUs and tells me about them in detail.

You can tell I'm really tired, can't you.

I am obvs SO behind on the talky meme, but will hopefully be able to catch up, or at least keep going! I will just keep working through topics until I'm done.

Also I haven't written my Yuletide fic yet -- I'm still frantically re-reading the canon. I don't know why I said I could write for a hard sci fi canon with literally a million characters and also I forgot which book the requested character was in so I read the WRONG book. I'm so cool.

Also! My fandom stocking is here. I love fandomstocking! It's my favourite winter internet thing :D As soon as TERM ENDS and my life quietens down or at least contains 95% less small children (I've just come from our Brownie Christmas party, and they're DONE until January too). I do love all my small children, but SO EXHAUSTING.

Also also. CHRISTMAS KNITTING. This is another reason I haven't written the meme post about current projects. NO TIME, MUST KNIT.
frith_in_thorns: Red teapot with a teacup (.Teapot)
Hi, new friends! (Also hi old friends, ilu too!) I feel I should start this post by saying I still have slots in my December meme which I would love to fill :)

I have been ridiculously busy lately. Small children in the daytime, different small children in the evenings. I'm still at the Autism school and still absolutely loving it. And I'm there until at least the middle of January! One of the fun things about agency TA work is getting to go into loads of schools and get a really broad range of experiences, but it's also really nice to have the next few months locked down in one place.

(I was sorely tempted to fill this post entirely with little anecdotes of adorable things my class said/did, but they are probably vastly less interesting to people who aren't me and are less fascinated by small children than I am, so I will spare you.)

I have also been reading lots of new-to-me books lately. The Mirror Empire, the four current Steerswoman novels, Twilight Robbery, the Graceling series... I highly recommend all of these. (Steerswoman subjectively slightly less than the others because of worldbuilding quirks that have been frustrating me.) Then after those, a few days ago I started reading Guy Gavriel Kay's latest, River of Stars... and put it down after less than a chapter. The lack of women kept jarring me out of the story. THIS IS A FANTASY AUTHOR I REALLY LIKE. READING WOMEN-WRITTEN FANTASY HAS RUINED ME FOR DUDE-FANTASY. Even dude fantasy authors I usually really like, apparently :P So I re-read Ancillary Sword instead and will go back to GGK sometime later. I got used to the casual inclusion of women in key roles all over the place!

Writing: I am finally approaching the end of the first draft of the story I started writing for nanowrimo last year! :P This is even less impressive once I tell you that it's in the 8-12/YA SFF age category, which has recommended word counts of 40-60k. But it's now the longest story I've ever written, having beaten out both the White Collar apocafic and a long-ago CSI:NY one.

On a related note, I accidentally started writing a multichapter White Collar bookshop AU. I know. I JUST MISSED WRITING THEM TOO MUCH.
frith_in_thorns: Mako Mori with an umbrella above her head in the rain (PR Mako Mori)
Unrelated note: I've had to turn off anon commenting on LJ. I've been getting an enormous volume of spam, about one an hour! They're currently enabled on DW -- I'll see how this goes.

Day 04 - A song that makes you sad
Samson — Regina Spektor

This is one of the songs which no one will ever convince me is not about lesbians, because it totally is. (Note: please don't actually try to convince me.) Also I've spent the last year planning in my head how I want to do a Myka/HG vid to it, and definitely plan to make it after Warehouse 13 finishes airing.

I love the sweetness about this song, and the sadness. It's got beautiful lyrics. We couldn't bring the columns down, no we couldn't destroy a single one / and the history books forgot about us and the bible didn't mention us, not even once.

youtube )

lyrics )

Day 05 - A song that reminds you of someone
Pressure Suit — Aqualung

This is song which I was given by Esvan, during the period of my life when I was in 6th form and had literally no one to talk to (and he was in his first year of uni) and I was just incredibly lonely and depressed and suicidal. But he sent me a song and I played it over and over and over and just. It's such a good song. Somewhere far beneath your pointed tongue and teeth is where you really are and just the repeated it's alright was so much what I needed right then, and yeah. Esvan's song. ♥

Dammit, now I'm crying.

youtube )

lyrics )

Day 06 - A song that reminds of you of somewhere
Fire And Rain — James Taylor

Years ago, we went on holiday each summer to France, to the Alps and to the south. We'd drive there, and go between campsites which were all in the middle of nowhere, with all the camping stuff for three weeks wedged into one car (because apparently it cost a load to take the little trailer on the ferry). But basically there was a lot of driving. And we'd all make one or two mixtapes each to be played in the car (except my mother, who was too busy actually organising the holiday). My sister's tapes were universally hated by everyone else, being comprised of Atomic Kitten and the Sugarbabes and the like. Mine were bizarre mixtures with Steeleye Span wedged up next to Snow Patrol and the end-songs from LOTR and Death Cab for Cutie and Cat Stevens in a way that I thought was great. And dad's tended to be made of the exact same songs every year, even though he made new ones every time. (This meant that I never had to put them on mine unless I wanted a duplicate, which worked great for me!)

So this song is France. There are actually lots that are, the ones that dad repeated every year -- James Taylor and Neal Young and Carol King and other artists I can't remember although I could still sing you their songs. But I picked this one here because it's a specific place to me -- driving through a golden evening on a high, narrow road above a long reservoir that we'd spent all day beside. Cork oaks beside the road, all glowing gold in the sunset. That's this song.

youtube )

lyrics )
frith_in_thorns: Hardcover books standing upright (.Books)
Happy New Year everyone! (I owe a million replies and comments to things, but am waiting until I get back to my proper computer and keyboard!)

Meme - 2013 in review (life version) )
frith_in_thorns: (CM - Garcia+JJ+Reid - excited)
So uh

I just handed in my notice

and I get to leave at the beginning of August

and right now I am utterly, ridiculously happy and relieved.

*bounces around offering free hugs*
frith_in_thorns: (Zundry - teacups)
Christmas is over, which I'm rather pleased about. I ran away to Esvan's after Christmas dinner (I'd forgotten how nice long walks in the dark through the countryside can be, even though I had to go by the roads because the fields were pretty sodden), and I'm still there. I have now finally seen The Avengers, and games of DOTA2 are currently ongoing.

Also I have been writing things for fandom_stocking while Esvan's been playing DOTA. So far I have White Collar fic and Mechanisms fics, for Once Upon A Time (In Space). Sadly only two people besides me requested Mechanisms fic, and it would probably be rude to write it for people who didn't :P But I am getting so into writing it! Particularly Rose Red/Cinders, because TRAGIC DOOMED LOVE AND SPACE BATTLES.

(On that note, [livejournal.com profile] hedge_backwards and anyone else who's interested, stockings still seem to be being posted today, so you could still sign up!)

Also, I started out by trying to write quite long fics for the stockings. Considering I have an incredibly long list, this is not at all sustainable and everyone else is probably getting context-less h/c :P

And apparently we only have a few days left before this round of [livejournal.com profile] hc_bingo is up! I... think I'm going for the amnesty period.

LOOK HOW RIDICULOUS MY CARD IS )

That is probably all for now. I should go do more writing.
frith_in_thorns: Diana Berrigan in a winter coat, looking down and smiling (WC Diana)
I love my manager. She has told me that it's her official policy that if someone is nasty to me on the phone I should put them on hold for a while and then tell them that whoever they're trying to reach is in a meeting. (We only get about six or seven incoming calls a day, and most of them are other companies trying to sell us stuff. I spend a lot of time lying by request about people being in meetings :P)

Also, today at lunch, Awesome Manager and I were talking about TV shows, and I asked her what her favourites were. Her reply: "I don't know if you've heard of it, but there's this show called White Collar..."

:D

Meme now! As copied from quite a few people on my flist.

So I want you to ask me something you think you should know about me. Something that should be obvious but you have no idea about, or something obscure you just have to know. Ask away. All topics, within reason, are open for discussion.
frith_in_thorns: (Writing - Universe)
Today at lunchtime, the conversation topic comes round to the elections. I proceed to have Feelings everywhere.

Matt: Oh, I didn't realise you liked talking about politics!
Me: Most people are surprised when I stop :P

On that note, if you haven't yet, please please vote. And please don't vote for Romney. Unless you enjoy fucking over women and queers and poor people, of course! :D
frith_in_thorns: Diana Berrigan in a winter coat, looking down and smiling (WC Diana)
My big bang fic now has art! It is lovely and I am so happy :D Thank you [livejournal.com profile] soteriophobe!

-

I was informed a few days ago that GoodReads has a phone ap. Which means I may actually use it, as I pretty much always have my phone with me, so add me! :) However, don't expect any very insightful comments about books read. I get asked sometimes why I didn't do English beyond GCSE (age 16, for comparison with other school systems), and my answer is that I hate reviewing/analysing books. So I've been treating the review section on GoodReads as if I'm writing Twitter statuses.

-

Lastly: following some more... interesting... communication from our landlords, in which they applaud how normal our personal possessions seem (as opposed to?) and contest all of our annotations to the inventory (the walls aren't dirty, they're just marked), we've finally decided on a house name.

There are no faults in Ba Sing Se.
frith_in_thorns: (White Collar - Neal+Peter - table)
We now have a complete house: Celia moved in a few days ago. One of the first things she asked was, "So, when do I start watching White Collar?" She also wants to watch Avatar: tLA.

So far the three of us are getting along as housemates WONDERFULLY.

We introduced her to White Collar with the summer finale, which [livejournal.com profile] theoret has continued to bring us in our internet-less exile. Theo did not see the reveal coming. I did. [livejournal.com profile] helle_d did. Celia did. *gg* It was a good episode, although hard to write tags to. (Priorities!)

Celia also ships Peter/Neal already. Or, as she put it, "But I don't even have to! The show's doing it for me!" Then we watched the first two eps of AtLA, which she also loved. She has very good taste, clearly :D

And now there is no White Collar until January, which is extremely sad (Theo: "I would genuinely let myself be covered in ants if it stopped White Collar going on hiatus!"), although helle and I have already agreed we will keep up TV Wednesdays with Theo, as it's a lot of fun. Theo's talking us into watching Teen Wolf. We may regret this.

At some point in the evening I ended up promising Theo and Eleanor that I would write them a post-anklet bakery 'verse. So I guess this is now a thing I'm working on?

In news that isn't about TV shows, well, not much else interesting is happening in my life. I'm still looking for a job. I've been playing a lot of Skyrim. Also, even the incredibly slow and unreliable mobile internet I've been depending on in the house seems to have (hopefully temporarily) gone down. I have full phone signal, but no internet for the past few days. Woe. I'm about five fics behind on my big bang reading now, not to mention everything else people are posting, and I feel like a bad friend. Twelve days to go until we're supposed to get the actual internet connected...
frith_in_thorns: (CM - Garcia - green)
Yes, I'm sorry, more house updates.

So, turns out that the landlords were probably dealing in bad faith all along when they tried to illegally threaten us with eviction, and then offered to release us from the contract. Because as soon as we took them up on the offer, they withdrew it. General opinion is that they were just trying to scare us and call our bluff.

So we're stuck here for a year. And there still isn't any internet, which automatically makes everything ten times worse (and I can't even play computer games or anything because Steam needs a connection to sign in. I need to look into how much those internet dongle things cost). But E and C have agreed that I don't have to deal with the landlords in any way, down to not even reading emails from them. Which is manageable, I think. (This sounds really quite pathetic of me.)

I'm so massively far behind on everything I should be commenting on -- I'm really sorry. Hopefully I shall eventually catch up? (I have internet this weekend, patchily, because I'm not at the house.)

Anyway. Stuff.
frith_in_thorns: (SGA - Teyla - woods)
It is so warm. Amusingly, all the WIPs I'm invested in involve being cold, so I haven't been able to write them at the moment XD I'm not complaining about the heat, though -- I vastly prefer it to being cold, which I've spent most of this year being. So I've been spending a load of time sitting in the field down the road with my notebook and writing stuff.

(Except for the past couple of days when I've been on my computer stabbing my wcpairings fic with a stick. FEELINGS ARE COMPLICATED AND MESSY CAN I JUST MAKE NEAL FALL OFF A BUILDING NOW.)

Other stuff: I watched White Collar with [livejournal.com profile] theoret. I like watching stuff I'm fannish about with other people who are fannish, it makes it so much fun. Also her mum gave me a German Friendship Cake. It is a self-replicating cake, guys. There will be endless cake! (helle, you will love it!)

I also have somewhere to put my stuff now that doesn't involve me paying extortionate self-storage prices! :D But I need to start looking for jobs. I'm rather terrified of the prospect. Interviews. Interviews are absolutely terrifying. Bleh.

Oh, I keep forgetting to ask if anyone else is on Twitter. I had a spare account (for one of my Echo Bazaar characters) so I'm now using that for friends and stuff. Not that I don't love my other one, but it's so full of politics and activism that, although it's great as a literal news feed, updates from people I know get buried! So, I'm @frithinthorns, add me :) (Warning: I'm not particularly interesting :P)

-

I shall finish this rather disjointed post by pasting in an extract from an email my mother sent me earlier:

"We went to Charmouth, but all the beaches were closed because of the rock fall where that poor woman died last week. Anyway I am afraid we were naughty and went on the beach anyway, so we had the beach to ourselves most of the day until some other disobedient people came along in the late afternoon. The coast guard came along to inspect the cliffs and they said 'Do you know this beach is closed?' and we said 'Yes' but they didn't tell us to move. Then the harbour master came along in a boat and said the same thing. Then later they came back and took our names and phone number, I suppose so they would know if there was a rockfall and we were dead, who we were."

THIS IS WHERE I GET IT FROM, GUYS.
frith_in_thorns: (SGA - Team - not lost)
Hey, look, we didn't fall down a mountain and die :D And all the barns we stayed in had mattresses, so that was a nice surprise.

And there were two days without rain! :O In the Lake District, that's pretty good going.

Then we got back and immediately went to find the latest episode of White Collar. Because priorities. So I have stuff to say about that, and more about mountains, and also a lot of stuff about books (our main conversation topics were the Vorkosigan and Codex Alera books), but I'm slightly intimidated by how much has been posted on my flist during my lack-of-internet, so I think I should probably read all of those things first. (Did anything that I should Definitely Know About happen?)

(MOUNTAINS.)
frith_in_thorns: (SGA - Team - not lost)
I do not like job interviews. This is my thing I have learnt today. Although, it was nicer than every other interview I've ever had (I'm not counting TeachFirst under 'job' because it bore way more similarities to my school scholarship interview than it did to this one.)

Anyway, I am waiting for the Odeon to ring me back, which they said they'd do this evening, but it's now gone half eight, so I probably didn't get it. JOYS. Not sure where to try next - Waterstones, maybe. Bleh, it was much easier not being an adult.

- - -

My "supposed to be working on" fics are being so uncooperative at the moment. (Also, I cannot write sex scenes. This appears to be a fact.) Well, my wcpairings fic is mostly done, but I'm kind of really annoyed at my BB fic. I'm still writing it, but I'm really doubting it's going to hit 10,000 words. ARGH. I used to be able to write long-fic (I think my longest hit 35k, and not that much even happened in it! It was just some characters being slowly crushed in a collapsed building!).

Although, all my long ones were chaptered, which I guess might have had something to do with it -- I did have most of it written before I posted, though, so it's not like I kept on making up new stuff. What I did enjoy doing was writing up to cliffhangers. Because I'm kind of a terrible person in many ways.

Also, I kind of feel my BB fic isn't really interesting enough for a BB. It's just one of my general stories, but it goes on for longer. (And has actual plot.) So maybe I'll just finish it and post it normally.

- - -

I have not much else to say? Oh, except that I've watched a season and a bit of Hawaii Five-0 and I really, really like it. It's extremely fun and happy, and I love the characters. So that's nice, especially as I ended up massively disappointed with Grimm.

- - -
frith_in_thorns: (Sanctuary - Henry - happy)
Looks like I have at least one source of income over the summer! My mentor wants to hire me as a maths and science tutor for her daughter, who'll be taking GCSEs next year. I'm really excited about this! :D

- - -

Still watching Grimm, and mostly enjoying it. It's certainly entertaining, and it has good characters. (Discounting the bee!fail, there have only been two episodes which have been rather DNW for me so far, 9 and 13. First for Nice Guy TM plot, second for embarrassment squick.) The lack of women in main and secondary roles is still incredibly glaring, but at least Parker is very awesome as the coroner and Juliet has finally begun to occasionally do more than to make out with Nick. The CGI Wesen faces and terrible German creature names continue to be hilarious.

My favourite character continues to be Captain Sam Adama Sean Renard - he is by far the most interesting to me. Followed by Monroe, who is adorable. He plays cello! And is a clockmaker! And gets all upset when his routine is interrupted! *d'awwws at him a lot* I'm not sure that I feel especially fannish about the show yet, although it strikes me that it would be quite a nice one to write fic for as you could handwave just about anything for plot convenience, since the show does :P

- - -

Linky post, by s. e. smith: Makin' Me Crazy: The madness of Drusilla, Sierra, and River (mild spoilers for Buffy, Dollhouse, Firefly)

"At the same time that I think Whedon and his writers wanted to criticise the way women are manipulated and controlled by society, and the medicalisation and pathologisation of women, they also played directly into familiar tropes about mental illness. The real crazy people are still dangerous and scary and should be locked up, under this framework."
frith_in_thorns: (Writing - tea and book)
I'm in Bristol this week, which is nice and relaxing. I'm beginning to read my way through the Vorkosigan books (part-way through the second now -- I love Cordelia a lot) and playing Skyrim. I can do both these things while working on the embroidery I'm doing, so I can feel productive.

I should probably be writing, but have the slight snag that I left my pen-drive with my Scrivener file on my desk. Where, you know, I had all my plans and prompts and suchlike. Annoying, especially as I think I'm supposed to produce actual plot for the [livejournal.com profile] whitecollarhc and the [livejournal.com profile] wcpairings challenges.

I want to rec these two fan-made versions of Rue's Lullaby and The Hanging Tree, from the Hunger Games books (no plot spoilers, although there may be in the vid comments). They're beautiful, and I've had them on repeat all evening.
frith_in_thorns: (Writing - tea and book)
Does anyone else do the thing where you start filling a prompt on a ficmeme and the whole time while you're writing it you keep on refreshing the page at intervals, being paranoid that someone'll have been faster than you and already filled it? /laughs at self

I'm currently interspersing fic-writing with revision, half an hour of each and then switching. It's going okay. Well, the end of last week and the weekend were a complete and utter loss, but I'm finally beginning to pick up again. However, when writing fic I'm even less inclined to come up with actual plots than usual. Expect continuing spam of contextless h/c.

(Speaking of which - is 'getting a bug' used in the context of having a cold in the US? Enquiring minds are unsure.)

- -

Book! I love this book. It's extremely funny and dark and witty. You should read it. It's... quite hard to sum up what it's about, but it mostly focuses around a soul-destroying shopping centre in Birmingham. Anyway, it's one of my favourites.

#7
She'd been staring at the words for so long, they were bled of meaning. Hobbies and Interests. What did it mean? Technically it wasn't actually a question, and it was only the two inches of white space below that would clue you into the fact that the words were supposed to elicit a response. Maybe she could just write something equally ambiguous as a response: 'Good', or 'Hello', or 'Yes'. It was a conundrum. Obviously she had no hobbies and interests, she was a duty manager... and yet there were those blank two inches, as if they wanted or expected you to have a life outside of work. It was a trap, but the thing with these traps was to act as if you didn't realise it was a trap. Lisa knew that writing, for example, 'I find hobbies and interests take up valuable time that could be better spent developing top-notch merchandising skills in store' would be too obvious. She also knew that even if she had any interests, to list them honestly would be disastrous, a clear compromise of her commitment.

After twenty-three minutes of staring at the three words, she had a flash of inspiration and wrote: 'Shopping and reading magazines.' So simple. And true! They would be delighted that her life truly was that small.

- Catherine O'Flynn, What Was Lost
frith_in_thorns: (Eternal Law - Mrs S - scars)
A note about commenting, since this is the sort of subject this is relevant to: my journal does have anon comments enabled, but they're screened because I keep getting spam. I let non-spam ones through, obviously!

Today is Blogging Against Disablism Day. So I've decided to write a post, after thinking about it for a while. I haven't decided yet whether I dare to submit it to the masterlist of posts, which you can find here. I do encourage you to read at least some of them.

What I'm writing about are attitudes to evidence of self-harm. Since it's May Day, and summer started when we heard the singers from Magdalen Tower, this becomes especially relevant.

Trigger warning: Discussion of depression and self-harm )
frith_in_thorns: (Zundry - teacups)
I celebrated doing my viva by tidying my room. It's now immaculate. (Everyone who's ever been in my room is laughing/unbelieving right now, I know.) There's so much floor! Fran came into my room to ask me something and was literally stopped speechless.

It apparently amuses a lot of people how I'm obsessive about keeping kitchens clean and orderly, but happily live in rooms with clothes and paper all over the floor. SO MUCH PAPER.

--

I've finally begun uploading my backlog of fic onto AO3. Because I don't want to annoy everyone by spamming, I decided to do two stories a day. This has already become "two stories on days when I remember". My organisational skills, let me show them to you. Okay, since I've just told you how I filed two terms' worth of lecture handouts on my bedroom floor, this probably isn't a surprise.

--

Last night, for reasons which are beyond me, I made a spreadsheet of all the goods I own in Echo Bazaar and calculated out their values. Conclusion: I can comfortably afford an Overgoat. But I'd have to sell lots and lots of stuff to do that. I have an unreasonable attachment to stuff (even virtual stuff), so this is a Difficult Decision. I mean, I'm already sad that I can't have my Bifurcated Owl and Unfinished Hat equipped as pets at the same time. I kind of want them to both ride around on my Bengal Tigress.

--

#5
Celia Bowen sits at a desk surrounded by piles of books. She ran out of space for her library some time ago, but instead of making the room larger she has opted to let the books become the room. Piles of them function as tables, others hang suspended from the ceiling, along with large golden cages holding several live white doves.

- Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

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